Novo Nordisk expects to have an oral variation of its popular injectable type-2 diabetes medication Victoza on the market in a few years. Oral versions of injectable therapies have advantages that lead to better patient experiences and higher sales. Novo is also working on oral versions of other injectable-only biologic therapeutics, including insulin.Oral versions of injectable peptide-and protein-based treatments are often (http://www.pharmatimes.com/article/10-01-13/Novo_starts_trial_on_holy_grail_oral_GLP-1_diabetes_drug.aspx) the 'Holy Grail' of pharmaceutical development owing to the potential to make such medications mainstream with tablet formulations.
According to one report, nearly $3B has been spent on the development of alternative delivery technologies for therapeutics. The market for such technologies is expected to grow around 10% annually over the next ten years, making success in these developments a strong growth prospect.
Effective oral forms of large-molecule biologic therapies, such as those made with proteins or peptides, are difficult to develop because they rapidly degrade in the digestive tract. The trick is to figure out a way to both keep the quantity of active pharmaceutical ingredient small enough to make the treatment cost effective and to ensure reliable survival and transport of the active molecules so that a safe, repeatable pharmaceutical effect occurs.
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