Opportunities Unfold in the Accordion Pill

An unfolding trend: "accordion pills" that could make risky drugs safe to swallow.

By Loolwa Khazzoom, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- The $30 billion pharmaceutical industry is always looking for ways to make our bodies hang on to the medications we take. Some drugs for diseases like AIDS need to be taken five times a day, with all the side effects that entails, because they pass through the gastric system so quickly.

That's why a small Jerusalem-based biotech company called Intec Pharma might be onto a winner with the accordion pill, which unfolds inside the stomach and stays anchored for as long as 20 hours.

Not only does the accordion mean no more five-a-day regimens, but drugs shelved because of too many side effects may now have a fighting chance. "We plan to transform numerous existing drugs into more powerful therapies," says Intec Pharma CEO Efi Cohen-Arazi.

In June, Intec inked deals with two North American dosage manufacturers - Tapemark in Minnesota and Bioenvelop in Quebec - to start producing the self-expanding pills.

It's awaiting FDA approval for the first version of the accordion, which will treat a neurological disease. Beyond that, we'll have to wait to see what else unfolds.  Top of page

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