Founded in 2017, Heidelberg Delivery Technologies GmbH (HEIDELTEC), offers a novel liposomal matrix system that enables the oral administration of peptide and protein drugs in a solid form, without the need for syringes.
The Heidelberg-based company is a spin-off from the pharmaceutical technology of the Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg, and is part of the EXIST research transfer program funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy.
With its PEPTORAL® technology, HEIDELTEC services clients and licensees from the pharmaceutical industry and the life science sector. By offering them the opportunity to reformulate or newly formulate peptide and protein active ingredients for oral administration. The PEPTORAL® technology uses an innovative, patent-pending, liposomal matrix formulation, which safely encapsulates the active substance during its passage through the stomach, and ensures intestinal absorption into the blood. It offers high storage stability and allows a controlled single dose of the active ingredients.
HEIDELTEC allows the oral administration of peptide and protein-based drugs. Peptide- or protein-based drugs are needed for the treatment of diabetes, cancer and various autoimmune diseases. However, peptides and proteins cannot be administered orally because they are rapidly degraded in the stomach and/or are not absorbed in the intestine and therefore have to be injected. This is the problem that our technology addresses.
The PEPTORAL® technology solves the problem of stability in the gastrointestinal tract and increases the uptake of the active ingredients in the intestine, thus providing an oral alternative to injections.
The PEPTORAL® technology is based on liposomes embedded in a matrix and thus processed into a solid pharmaceutical form. The liposomes can additionally be stabilized using tetraether lipids in order to transport the active ingredient safely through the stomach into the intestine. With the stabilization of the liposomes, the liposomes, as well as the active ingredient enclosed therein, are protected against degradation in the stomach, allowing the active substance to be absorbed in the small intestine without damage. The intake of the active ingredients can be further optimized and increased by a targeted and careful use of bioenhancers depending on the active ingredient. Due to a special manufacturing method, it is possible to enclose high concentrations of the active ingredients.
A key advantage of the PEPTORAL® technology is the combination of conventional liposomes with so-called tetraether lipids (TEL) to stabilize them for oral use. These TELs are found to a large extent in the cell membranes of unicellular organisms, which thrive in hot and acidic springs. To resist these harsh conditions, they install TEL into their membranes. The use of TEL in liposomes stabilizes them for the conditions in the gastrointestinal tract, and thus the substances that are enclosed in the liposomes.
As such, the peptide drugs are protected from decomposition. In addition, the release of the active substances from the liposomes can be controlled by the level of TEL. Liposomes have been used for a long time as a dosage form in humans and have an excellent risk profile. TEL are also regarded as toxicologically harmless. In addition to their protective effect, liposomes themselves increase the uptake of the enclosed active ingredients since they are preferably absorbed in parts of the intestinal tissue.
To further improve bioavailability and to open up the technology to larger proteins, the system can be extended by the use of so-called bioenhancers. Bioenhancers are substances that increase the bioavailability of drugs in a variety of ways. This is usually achieved by an improved uptake of the active substances in the intestine or by the prevention or slowing down of the degradation of the active ingredients. In the case of liposomes, bioenhancers can be embedded directly with the active substance and thus released in close spatial and temporal proximity, increasing the efficiency of the bioenhancers and reducing possible undesirable side effects.
The team consists of Prof. Gert Fricker, Dr. Silvia Pantze, Dr. Frieder Helm, Dr. Robin Tremmel, Dr. Johannes Parmentier and M.Sc. Moritz Stadler. They are available to you and open to inquiries at any time.
In May 2016, the team received approval from the EXIST research transfer program of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and received a two-year financing for their PEPTORAL project. A year later, Heidelberg Delivery Technologies GmbH was founded in May 2017.
Managing Director, Certified Pharmacist with a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology, on the topic of ``Brain function of triethylenetetramine in particulate carrier systems`` from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Managing Director, Master of Business Administration in ``Accounting, Finance and Taxation specialized in Healthcare Management`` from the University of Vienna.
Head of Operations, Certified Pharmacist with a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology, on the topic of ``Liposomes as solid dosage form and for the oral delivery of vancomycin`` from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Head of Research, Chemist with a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology, on the topic of ``Investigations on brain delivery of liposomal conjugates`` from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Mentor, MBA and Certified Pharmacist with a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology, on the topic of ``Liposomes for the oral delivery of peptide drugs`` from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Mentor, Professor and Head of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics at the University of Heidelberg