Spinout News

Intract Pharma and Finch Therapeutics announce collaboration to enable targeted delivery of microbial communities

6 January 2017

Intract Pharma, an oral drug delivery spinout company from UCL School of Pharmacy and Finch Therapeutics, Inc., a microbiome therapeutics company based in Somerville, MA, today announced that Finch will use Intract’s Phloral® technology to develop a capsule for the targeted delivery of microbial communities into the colon.

Phloral® is the world’s only dual-action system for precise and reliable delivery to the large intestine, the predominant site of the gut microbiome. Traditional approaches to colon- targeting rely on a single mechanism to initiate drug release, such as changes in gastrointestinal pH, enzymatic activity, or prolonged transit time. However, given the considerable degree of individual variability in these parameters, these systems often fail, with drug release occurring prematurely, or in many cases, not at all. Phloral® combines a pH-responsive polymer and natural polysaccharide as independent but complementary release mechanisms for fail-safe delivery. This cutting-edge technology has demonstrated consistent and clinically proven results in both healthy and diseased states.

We are thrilled to incorporate a clinically superior and gold-standard gastrointestinal coating technology into our research and development platform,” says Andrew Noh, COO at Finch.

This long-term partnership between Finch and Intract strengthens our ability to lead the industry in the development of therapeutics for microbiome-mediated diseases.

Finch’s innovative discovery platform presents an exciting new frontier in scientific research and represents a significant step in the development of microbial therapeutic products. We are delighted that Phloral will contribute to making these safer, more effective, and better suited to patient needs.” says Bill Lindsay, CEO at Intract.

The Phloral technology will enable the first-in-human discovery approach at Finch. “Phloral is an exciting technology for our research into the microbiome because it enables oral delivery of communities with the same precise targeting as traditional but less convenient colonoscopic delivery,” says Dean Glettig, Director of Product Development at Finch.

About Intract
Intract is a licensing and product development company offering state-of-art oral drug delivery formulation technologies and specialist gastrointestinal models to develop advanced new therapeutics. Intract is a spinout from University College London (UCL) and has exclusive licence to oral delivery technologies developed by Professor Abdul Basit of the UCL School of Pharmacy and owned by UCL.

About Finch
Finch develops microbiome-based therapies via its human-first discovery platform. Discovery and product design begins with clinical proof of concept data in humans. Instead of relying on in vitro screening of a library of isolates, Finch mines molecular data collected from humans. Instead of relying on in vitro screening of a library of isolates, Finch mines molecular data collected from human interventional studies. Proprietary machine learning techniques enable Finch to build a clinically annotated library of strains that drive clinical phenotypes of interest.

About UCL Business PLC
UCL Business PLC (UCLB) is a leading technology commericalisation company that supports the research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. UCLB has a strong track record in commercialising medical technologies and provides technology transfer services to UCL’s associated hospitals; University College London Hospitals, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal Free London Hospital. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from laboratory to market.