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HP ink jet technology creates skin patch

Hewlett Packard and medical device developer Crospon enter into a licensing agreement for controlled release of drugs in a dermal patch created from inkjet technology

IT company Hewlett Packard (HP) and Ireland-headquartered medical device developer Crospon have entered a licensing agreement for a drug delivery platform which enables painless, controlled release of drugs in a dermal patch.

The HP-developed skin patch uses microneedles which minimally penetrate the skin. The non-invasive system reduces discomfort, compared with traditional needle delivery, and enables the technique to be used with a much wider variety of drugs and biopharmaceuticals. The microneedles allow medication to quickly enter the bloodstream, resulting in the potential delivery of lower and more precise dosages.

Traditional transdermal patches for nicotine delivery often deliver unpredictable doses because the skin acts as a natural barrier. HP initially developed the drug delivery technology as a way to repurpose its inkjet technology for use in new markets. The technology in the skin patch is similar to that employed in HP's patented process for its inkjet cartridges.

Per the agreement, HP will license its intellectual property to Crospon in return for royalty payments. Crospon will commercialise the patch and make it available to pharmaceutical companies. It will also manufacture the patch and manage all marketing, sales and support.

The agreement between HP and Crospon resulted in part from HP's relationship with Enterprise Ireland, an Irish government agency tasked with supporting and growing indigenous business in Ireland. Through Enterprise Ireland, companies can license the intellectual property of HP and access the company's business and technology mentoring.

Joe Beyers, vice-president of Intellectual Property Licensing at HP, said: "We encourage companies like Crospon to apply HP's intellectual property in innovative ways to help more people benefit from these important technologies. By licensing core intellectual property in thermal inkjet technology for use in a drug delivery product, HP breathes new life into its mature technology while capitalising on the booming healthcare and life sciences market."

30th September 2008

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