ATRIX LABORATORIES INC

ATRIX LABORATORIES INC

Previous company name
VIPONT RESEARCH LABORATORIES INC
Name change date
12/18/1989
Company Overview
QLT USA, Inc. is a privately held company engaged in the manufacture of drug delivery systems. The company was incorporated in 1986 and has its registered head office in Fort Collins, Colorado in the United States. QLT USA, Inc. operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of QLT Inc., which is a global biopharmaceutical company specializing in developing treatments for cancer, eye diseases and dermatological and urological conditions.
QLT USA developed Eligard, a treatment for advanced prostate cancer, using its Atrigel sustained-release injection technology. The drug is approved in North America, where is is marketed by Sanofi-Aventis; in Europe, where Astellas Pharma and MediGene share marketing rights; and in Australia and New Zealand, where Mayne Pharma sells the drug. QLT USA’s parent, Canadian drugmaker QLT Inc., has divested the unit’s topical acne medication (Aczone) and plans to sell the rest of QLT USA’s operations.
Business Summary
Atrix Laboratories, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on advanced drug delivery. Its drug delivery systems deliver controlled amounts of drugs in various time frames to address a range of therapeutic and patient needs. Atrigel is the Company’s original proprietary sustained release biodegradable polymer drug delivery system. The Atrigel system is designed to provide benefits over traditional methods of drug administration such as safety and effectiveness, ease of applications, site-specific or systemic delivery, customized release rates and biodegradability. The four additional drug delivery systems offered by Atrix are Solvent/Microparticle System, Mucocutaneous Absorption System, Biocompatible Polymer System and Bioerodible Mucoadhesive. With patented drug delivery technologies, the Company is developing a portfolio of products, including proprietary oncology and dermatology products.
Description and history
Atrix Laboratories, Inc., incorporated in 1986, is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on advanced drug delivery. Its drug delivery systems deliver controlled amounts of drugs in various time frames to address a range of therapeutic and patient needs. Atrigel is the Company’s original proprietary sustained-release biodegradable polymer drug delivery system. The Atrigel system is designed to provide benefits over traditional methods of drug administration, in areas such as safety and effectiveness, ease of application, site-specific or systemic delivery, customized release rates and biodegradability. The four additional drug delivery systems offered by Atrix are the Solvent/Microparticle System (SMP), Mucocutaneous Absorption System (MCA), Biocompatible Polymer System (BCP) and Bioerodible Mucoadhesive (BEMA). With patented drug delivery technologies, the Company is developing a portfolio of products, including proprietary oncology and dermatology products. It also forms strategic alliances with a variety of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop products utilizing its various drug delivery systems, and to commercialize its products. Strategic alliances include Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc., Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc., Sandoz Inc., Pfizer Inc., Sosei Co. Ltd., MediGene AG and Yamanouchi, Mayne Pharma, Tecnofarma, Han All Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Atrigel System

The Atrigel drug delivery system consists of biodegradable polymers, similar to those used in biodegradable sutures, dissolved in biocompatible carriers. Pharmaceuticals may be blended into this liquid delivery system at the time of manufacturing or, depending upon the product, may be added later by the physician at the time of use. When the liquid product is injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly through a small gauge needle, or placed into accessible tissue sites through a cannula, displacement of the carrier with water in the tissue fluids causes the polymer to precipitate, forming a solid film or implant. The drug encapsulated within the implant is then released in a controlled manner as the polymer matrix biodegrades with time. Depending upon the patient’s medical needs, the Atrigel system can deliver small molecules, peptides or proteins over a period ranging from days to months.

Solvent/ Microparticle System

The SMP technology consists of a two-stage system designed to provide topical delivery of highly water-insoluble drugs to the skin. The combination of the dissolved drug with a microparticle suspension of the drug in a single formulation allows a controlled amount of the dissolved drug to permeate into the epidermal layer of the skin, while a high level of the microparticle drug is maintained just above the outermost layer of the skin for later delivery. The consistent microparticle size and distribution maximize drug delivery while minimizing crystal growth over the shelf life of the product.

Mucocutaneous Absorption System

The MCA delivery system can be formulated either as alcohol-based gels or as aerosols for the localized delivery of drugs to the skin or mucosal tissues. The MCA formulations can be applied to dry, damp or even wet skin or mucosal surfaces. Because of the novel blend of cellulose polymers dissolved in alcohol, they quickly dry to form moisture-resistant films that can deliver drugs and/or promote healing. Depending on the desired application, the MCA products can be formulated to form opaque films to highlight the area of treatment, or to transparent films that are more cosmetically acceptable. The MCA formulations can be easily flavored to mask the taste of active ingredients for oral products, and are compatible with liquid spray applicators.

Biocompatible Polymer System

The BCP system, composed of polymers, solvents and actives carefully selected for their low toxicity to skin cells, can be formulated as either film-forming gels or liquids for topical applications. The BCP gels are non-greasy, non-staining formulations that can be applied to wounded or denuded skin to deliver a drug, such as an antibiotic, and then dry to form a non-constricting, protective film over the wound. The liquid BCP formulations are designed to provide effective cleansing of topical wounds or denuded skin without causing further trauma to the skin, thereby promoting faster healing with minimal scarring.

Bioerodible Mucoadhesive System

The BEMA system is a proprietary polymer-based system designed to deliver systemic levels of drugs across oral or vaginal mucosal tissues. The semi-soft BEMA disc adheres readily to the mucosa, where it softens further on contact with moisture, becoming unnoticeable as it delivers the drug and erodes away. The BEMA system is versatile and can incorporate a variety of drugs, including proteins and peptides. The compound can be loaded into the mucoadhesive layer for delivery into the mucosal tissue, while minimizing drug release into surrounding tissues or cavities. The drug may also be loaded into the backing layer to provide more controlled release into the oral cavity.

Various properties of the BEMA products, such as residence time, bioerosion kinetics, taste, shape and thickness, can be modified to the desired level to customize drug delivery to the medical and patient needs. The BEMA technology has potential applications in pain management, anti-migraine compounds and anti-emetics.

The Company’s competitors include Alkermes, Inc., ALZA Corporation, Cima Labs, Inc., Durect Corp., Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and SkyePharma, plc.

Business Line
Engaged in the manufacture of drug delivery systems
Subsidiary

Advisor
DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
IPO date
11/1991
US SIC Code
2834
Company Address
2579, Midpoint Drive

City province or state postal code
80525, FORT COLLINS, CO
Phone: +1 970 482 5868
Fax: +1 970 482 9735
Country address: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Website url: www.atrixlabs.com

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