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Claims for Patent: 5,855,906

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Claims for Patent: 5,855,906

Title: Intravaginal drug delivery devices for the administration of 17.beta.-oestradiol precursors
Abstract:The invention relates to an intravaginal drug delivery device for administration to a female mammal of certain 17.beta.-oestradiol precursors at a substantially constant rate for a period of at least three weeks. The 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor is a 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in which the, or each, hydroxyl group of the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety is blocked by a blocking group, which blocking group is readily removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol in vivo. The 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor must have either a solubility in liquid silicone of not less than 0.1 mg/100 ml or a standard k value of not less than 0.1 .mu.g/day/mm. The 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor must also have a solubility in distilled water of not less than 1 .mu.g/100 ml.
Inventor(s): McClay; Allen (Cookstown, IE)
Assignee: Galen (Chemicals) Limited (Dublin, IE)
Application Number:08/849,329
Patent Claims: 1. A cylindrical intravaginal drug delivery device suitable for administration to a female mammal, the device comprising a 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor in a biocompatible hydrophobic elastomeric polymer matrix, the device releasing the 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor in a substantially zero order pattern for at least three weeks, the precursor being a 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in which the, or each, hydroxyl group of the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety is blocked by a blocking group, the precursor having sufficient lipophilicity as determined either by a solubility in liquid silicone of not less than 0.1 mg/100 ml or by a standard k value, in which k=2C.sub.S D.pi., of not less than 0.1 .mu.g/day/mm, the precursor having sufficient hydrophilicity as determined by a solubility in distilled water of not less than 1 .mu.g/100 ml, the, or each, blocking group being so linked to the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety as to be readily removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in vivo, and the, or each, blocking group being so chosen as to yield a substance which is non-toxic to the female mammal when removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in vivo wherein C.sub.S corresponds to the precursor's saturation solubility in the polymer matrix and D corresponds to the precursor's diffusion coefficient in the polymer matrix.

2. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 1, in which the, or each, blocking group is an aliphatic C.sub.1-5 acyl group, with the proviso that, when the acyl group is acetyl, each hydroxyl group cannot be blocked with acetyl.

3. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 2, in which the acyl group is the acyl moiety of a saturated monocarboxylic or dicarboxylic acid.

4. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 3, in which the acyl group is selected from the group comprising formyl, acetyl, propionyl, butyryl, isobutyryl, oxalyl, malonyl, succinyl and glutaryl.

5. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 2, in which the acyl group is the acyl moiety of an unsaturated monocarboxylic or dicarboxylic acid.

6. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 5, in which the acyl group is selected from acryloyl, propioloyl, methacryloyl, crotonoyl, isocrotonoyl, maleoyl, fumaroyl, citraconoyl and mesaconoyl.

7. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 1, in which the blocking group blocks the 3-hydroxyl group of the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety.

8. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 1, in which the blocking group blocks the 17-hydroxyl group of the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety.

9. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 7, in which the blocking group is selected from acetyl or propionyl.

10. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 7, in which the precursor is 17.beta.-oestradiol-3-acetate or 17.beta.-oestradiol-3-propionate.

11. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 8, in which the precursor is 17.beta.-oestradiol-17-acetate or 17.beta.-oestradiol-17-propionate.

12. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 1, in which the device additionally includes a progestogen in the polymer matrix.

13. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 12, in which the progestogen is selected from the group comprising norethisterone-17-acetate and levonorgestrel.

14. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 1 suitable for inducing hyper-oestrogenism including fertility control, in which the polymer matrix forms a hollow annulus and the device is provided with a central member within the annulus and a sheath surrounding the polymer matrix.

15. A process for the preparation of a cylindrical intravaginal drug delivery device for release in a substantially zero order pattern for at least three weeks and suitable for administration to a female mammal, the process comprising the steps of:

combining a 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor, the precursor being a 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in which the, or each, hydroxyl group of the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety is blocked by a blocking group; the precursor having sufficient lipophilicity as determined either by a solubility in liquid silicone of not less than 0.1 mg/100 ml or by standard k value as defined hereinabove of not less than 0.1 .mu.g/day/mm, the precursor having sufficient hydrophilicity as determined by a solubility in distilled water of not less than 1 .mu.g/100 ml, the, or each, blocking group being so linked to the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety as to be readily removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in vivo; and the, or each, blocking group being so chosen as to yield a substance which is non-toxic to the female mammal, when removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in vivo, with a biocompatible hydrophobic elastomeric polymer, a suitable cross-linking agent and a curing catalyst to form a mix; and

curing the mix to form a polymer matrix.

16. A process according to claim 15, in which the polymer matrix forms a hollow annulus and the process comprises the steps of forming a central member; combining the 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor with a polymer, a suitable cross-linking agent and a curing catalyst to form a mix and curing the mix to form the polymer matrix in the form of the hollow annulus surrounding the central member; and providing a sheath surrounding the polymer matrix.

17. An intravaginal drug delivery device suitable for administration to a female mammal, whenever prepared by the process claimed in claim 15.

18. A method of using a 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor in a cylindrical intravaginal drug delivery device for release in a substantially zero order pattern for at least three weeks, which method comprises the step of incorporating in the drug delivery device the 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor, wherein the 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor is a 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in which the, or each, hydroxyl group of the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety is blocked by a blocking group, the precursor has sufficient lipophilicity as determined either by a solubility in liquid silicone of not less than 0.1 mg/100 ml or by a standard k value as defined hereinabove of not less than 0.1 .mu.g/day/mm, the precursor has sufficient hydrophilicity as determined by a solubility in distilled water of not less than 1 .mu.g/100 ml, the, or each, blocking group is so linked to the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety as to be readily removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in vivo, and the, or each, blocking group is so chosen as to yield a substance which is non-toxic to the female mammal when removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in vivo.

19. A method of releasing a 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor in a substantially zero order pattern for a least three weeks, which method comprises the steps of:

incorporating the 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor in a cylindrical intravaginal drug delivery device, the 17.beta.-oestradiol precursor being a 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in which the, or each, hydroxyl group of the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety is blocked by a blocking group, the precursor having sufficient lipophilicity as determined either by a solubility in liquid silicone of not less than 0.1 mg/100 ml or by a standard k value as defined hereinabove of not less than 0.1 .mu.g/100 ml, the precursor having sufficient hydrophilicity, as determined by a solubility in distilled water or not less than 1 .mu.g/100 ml, the, or each, blocking group being so linked to the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety as to be readily removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in vivo, the, or each, blocking group being so chosen as to yield a substance which is non-toxic to the female mammal when removed from the 17.beta.-oestradiol moiety in vivo; and

inserting the drug delivery device into a vagina of a female mammal for the at least three weeks.

20. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 1 suitable for alleviating or preventing symptoms associated with hypo-oestrogenism including hormone replacement therapy, in which the polymer matrix forms a core and the device is provided with a sheath surrounding the polymer matrix.

21. A process according to claim 15, in which the polymer matrix forms a core and the process additionally comprises the step of providing a sheath surrounding the polymer matrix.

22. An intravaginal drug delivery device suitable for administration to a female mammal, whenever prepared by the process claimed in claim 16.

23. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 10, in which the precursor is 17.beta.-oestradiol-3-acetate.

24. An intravaginal drug delivery device according to claim 11, in which the precursor is 17.beta.-oestradiol-17-acetate.
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