IntelGenx Oral Drug Delivery Technology: Competitive Advantage

Buccal drug delivery systems are gaining popularity and acceptance as technologies evolve. Besides their easy administration, they also offer innovative solutions for some key challenges faced in oral drug delivery.

With conventional drug delivery systems (tablets, capsules, etc) the mouth is merely the entry point of the medication and the absorption of the active takes place in the gastro intestinal (GI) tract. Oral delivery systems are designed to deliver the active directly via the oral cavity with the mouth becoming the site of administration, application and absorption. Absorption into the blood capillaries occurs via diffusion of the drug through the non-keratinized buccal and/or the sublingual mucosa. In this way the drug has direct access to the systemic circulation bypassing the hepatic portal system, thus allowing for a significant reduction of the so-called “first-pass effect” (the metabolism of orally administered drugs by hepatic enzymes OR the metabolism of orally administered drugs by hepatic and GI enzymes) resulting in a significantly reduced amount of unmetabolized drug reaching the systemic circulation.


Oral drug delivery systems possess some important characteristics and properties:

  1. Broad range of applications (local or systemic, food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products)
  2. Non-invasive
  3. Suitable for pediatric/geriatric patients
  4. No water and no mastication required for drug release and uptake resulting in a substantial improvement of patient compliance and convenience
  5. Significantly reduced “first-pass effect”:
    1. Improved bioavailability compared to conventional solid dosage forms
    2. Improved stability for pH sensitive drugs (mouth saliva pH ≈6.5)
    3. Accurate dosing and less waste of expensive drugs through hepatic/gastric degradation
    4. Improved safety through lower dosage and milder GI side effects
    5. Reduced level of metabolites and related side effects
  6. Versatile drug release (immediate/extended)
  7. Customized colour, shape, dimension and taste
  8. Cost-effective
  9. Potential for extension of market exclusivity for drug entities at the end of their patent life (lifecycle management)

IntelGenx’ buccal drug delivery systems encompass two delivery systems: an Oral Film Technology and a Mucoadhesive Tablet Technology.  Each technology offers distinct advantages, which make them uniquely suitable for a wide range of applications.

Oral Film Technology

Mucoadhesive Technology