Identifying innovative smart materials for gastric drug delivery

Identifying innovative smart materials for gastric drug delivery

About the Client:

The Client is a world leader in the development of innovative products and solutions for improving animal health.


Our client is developing a novel gastric drug delivery solution that will allow delivered animal medications to remain in the stomach for extended periods. The Client approached PreScouter to explore existing, novel, and upcoming smart materials for drug delivery, such as hydrogels. Ideally, the materials identified would respond to physiological conditions within the gastric environment, resulting in both a long retention time in the animal’s stomach with the potential of controlled release.


As our client was potentially looking for development partners, PreScouter deployed a 2 phase approach. First, our team did an evaluation of published scientific literature to identify leading research centers currently developing hydrogel-based materials that can change their size and properties in response to different environments such as pH, temperature, or ionic strength while having the potential to be loaded with specific drugs.

Additionally, PreScouter looked into its proprietary databases for startups active in the area of hydrogel-based gastro-retentive solutions. Finally, after evaluating all candidates from Phase 1 with the client, PreScouter conducted outreach interviews with the most promising candidates to evaluate their respective capabilities, development status, and potential fit and interest.


During the 2 IB engagements, the PreScouter team identified 46 examples of materials being developed for gastro-retentive solutions, primarily based on hydrogels. Key information such as swelling ratio, gastric retention time, or drug release kinetics were collected and compiled in a comparison matrix.

An analysis of the solutions gathered by PreScouter aligned with the client’s goals led to the identification of microparticle-mediated gastric drug delivery as a potential avenue of interest. From there, PreScouter conducted a literature search to provide key particle design parameters and expected outcomes.

Finally, one technology and developer identified was considered a great fit for our client’s goals. PreScouter performed an informational, anonymous interview that helped the client understand the developer’s capabilities leading to the client pursuing an active collaboration in the development of a novel gastric drug delivery solution.

A downloadable version of this case study is available here.

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