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    Glide Pharma Is Overall Winner Of Prestigious 2007 Medical Futures Innovation Awards

Glide Pharma, the specialty pharmaceutical company developing products based on its innovative needle-free drug delivery system, has won the Best Business Award at the 2007 Medical Futures Innovation Awards. The Awards are widely regarded as the healthcare industry's Oscars and this year's competition attracted a record number of over 500 entries.

The Best Business Award is given to the overall winner from among the 25 award winners. Glide Pharma also won the Best Business Proposition Award in the Anaesthesia & Critical Care category, sponsored by Abbott Laboratories.

Located at Milton Park, Oxfordshire, Glide Pharma has developed the Glide Solid Dose Injector (SDITM), a needle-free drug delivery system that injects drugs in solid dosage form into the skin. The Glide SDI is very easy to use, making it ideal for self-administration of drugs, and during trials has been praised by GPs and patients, who preferred an injection with the Glide SDI to an injection by needle and syringe. The Glide SDI eliminates the hazards of needle stick injuries and disposal problems associated with syringes as well as the phobia many people feel towards needles.

Glide Pharma is developing its own range of new drug products for use with the Glide SDI and the Company's first new drug product is on track to enter clinical trials in Autumn 2007. The product contains the drug octreotide acetate, currently one of Novartis' top 10 selling drugs that has recently come 'off patent'. Octreotide is used to treat neuroendocrine tumours prior to surgery as well as acromegaly, a chronic condition caused by abnormally high amounts of growth hormone that causes gradual enlargement of body tissues including the bones of the face, hands, feet, and skull, and can result in serious disease and lead to premature death.

Dr Charles Potter, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Glide Pharma, received the Best Business Award at a glittering ceremony in London attended by over 750 people. Dr Potter said: "We are honoured to receive this prestigious Award from Medical Futures and delighted that the contribution which Glide Pharma's innovative needle-free drug delivery technology can make to healthcare is being recognised in this way."

He added: "This Award comes at a particularly interesting time for Glide Pharma. We are making excellent progress in our internal development pipeline and are gaining a lot of partnering traction. We are about to advance the first in a pipeline of our own brand products into clinic and we are also in negotiations with a growing number of major pharmaceutical partners to co-develop the Glide Solid Dose Injector with their proprietary drugs and vaccines. There is strong interest in new delivery systems for both vaccines and biologics that are self-injected at home, such as insulin and human growth hormone."

The Glide SDI is ideally suited to biologics and vaccines because of the simplicity of the device but also because of the enhanced stability and potential for controlled release of the drug or vaccine when injected in a solid dosage form. Last month Glide Pharma extended its partner portfolio by signing up an undisclosed, US-based pharmaceutical company that wants to explore the use of the Glide SDI for the delivery of its new biologic drug, and is currently negotiating several other contracts.

Dr Potter stated: "We are also about to enter an interim funding round and will be looking to secure in the region of £2 million. This funding will enable us to progress the development of our first drug product and to pursue co-development opportunities with a number of potential pharmaceutical partners."

The Medical Futures Awards judging panel included leading healthcare experts such as Sir Magdi Yacoub, pioneer of the heart and lung transplant; Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford; and Sir Richard Sykes, former Chairman and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and currently Rector of Imperial College. Complemented by business experts, such as Sir Victor Blank, Chairman of Lloyds TSB Group Plc; and Sir Michael Sherwood, Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs, the panel is Europe's leading think tank on health and business innovation.

Awards Judge, Baroness Susan Greenfield, commented: "The Medical Futures Innovation Awards make me proud to say that the next generation of people and products that will keep us as a world-beating country in this sector are alive and kicking. Everyone who has entered the Innovation Awards deserves recognition for their commitment to their ideas, technologies and skills."

Andy Goldberg, founder of Medical Futures, added: "The Judges had the difficult task of assessing ideas at all stages of development on a level playing field. Essentially, their decision was based on three things: impact on patient care, novelty, and commercial viability."

"New medical technology is an underutilised segment of the investment market. Nine out of 10 of the largest medical technology companies are US-based, yet the UK produces some of the world's best ideas. Medical Futures has demonstrated a strong pipeline of innovations set to become the next high growth area and prove that the UK can be a world beater."

About Glide Pharma Ltd

Glide PharmaTM is based at Milton Park, Oxfordshire, UK. The Company, formerly known as Caretek Medical, was incorporated in 2001 and is focused on the commercialisation of the Glide SDITM (solid dose injector) for a range of drug applications. The inventor of the Glide technology and founder of Glide Pharma is Dr Charles Potter, Chief Executive Officer. The Company attracted £2.1 million from Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc, Hygea VCT plc and local business angels in December 2005.

The GlideTM Technology

The Glide Solid Dose Injector (SDI) is a needle-free drug delivery system that injects a drug in a solid dosage form into the skin. The Glide actuator uses a spring mechanism to push solid drugs through the skin into the underlying tissue where they dissolve and are released into the patient's bloodstream. The device is very easy to use making it ideal for the self administration of drugs in the home environment. The system comprises a reusable, spring powered actuator and a pre-filled, disposable drug cassette. The drug cassette can be thrown away with normal household waste after use and replaced with a fresh cassette holding the next dose. In the clinic volunteers stated that they preferred an injection with the Glide SDI to an injection with a standard needle and syringe.

Storing drugs in a solid dosage form typically makes them more stable and therefore refrigeration may not be essential, as is often the case with liquid formulations. The solid dosage form also enables both immediate and/or controlled release of the drug into the blood stream, reducing the need for multiple injections.

The Glide technology has the potential to generate substantial cost savings by eliminating the need to make arrangements for refrigerated storage of liquid drugs and for needle disposal - a major issue as 15 billion needles are used worldwide every year. It could also benefit patients with needle phobia and healthcare staff who suffer needle stick injuries, estimated at 600,000 to 800,000 annually, with the risk of HIV or Hepatitis infection.

About the Oxford Technology VCTs

The Oxford Technology VCTs exist to provide capital to start-up technology companies near Oxford. Oxford Technology 3 VCT plc and Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc are quoted on the London Stock Market.

About Medical Futures

The Medical Futures Innovation Awards, now in their sixth year, are a national showcase of clinical and commercial excellence. Run on a not-for-profit basis by an energetic team of doctors, media and communication experts, the Awards aim to nurture, support and reward healthcare professionals on the front line of care delivery, turning their ideas into products and services that can benefit patients. A Medical Futures Innovation Award is the UK's most sought after healthcare accolade. The Awards, supported by the Prime Minister, have achieved coverage in over 300 publications. They have been featured on the BBC, ITV and Sky News, and are referred to by the national press as the 'Healthcare Oscars'. The 2007 Awards were launched in November 2006 by Cherie Booth QC and over 500 quality entries were received in a number of medical areas including: critical care, cancer, orthopaedics, cardiology and mental health. Within each area, the Judges awarded prizes for services, technologies and therapeutics as well as making a special Best Business award. The judging process itself saw medical innovators pitching their ideas to the panel of experts in Dragon's Den style to prove they had what it takes to launch the next breakthrough in healthcare innovation. The 25 award winners included doctors, scientists and small businesses.

Publication Date: 2007-06-26 03:00

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