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  • Attracting Innovation and Collaboration to the Knowledge District

  • With a robust academic medical center and prolific research enterprises, Providence's historic Jewelry District is well on its way to becoming its new Knowledge District. One excellent example of the type of business that our medical research capabilities attract is Isis Biopolymer, Inc. This small company, founded in 2006, moved to its current location on Richmond Street in 2009. Their decision to move the company within close proximity of our hospital campus rested, in large part, on their desire to further strengthen their partnership with Lifespan researchers for the pre-clinical and clinical testing of its transdermal patch- a programmable, multi-day, multi-drug delivery system. Researchers at Lifespan conducted the first clinical trial for Isis Biopolymer in 2008, evaluating and confirming modulated transdermal delivery of four different drugs. Lifespan and Isis Biopolymer now look forward, together, to a long-term strategic partnership for the clinical testing of their exciting drug delivery systems.

    "This collaborative effort with Isis Biopolymer is a welcome partnership for the state and a model for expanding our knowledge economy."

    - Peter J. Snyder, PhD, vice president for research at Lifespan

    Unlike other patches on the market, which simply dispense a drug through the skin after application, the IsisIQ Patch is the first fully programmable active transdermal drug delivery (TDD) system. Proprietary software allows physicians to safely and effectively prescribe, manage and monitor drug delivery. The patch can hold multiple drugs and can be controlled by a physician to dispense each in a specific dosage at a specific time over several days. If need arises, the physician can change drugs, dosages and times remotely. Advances in microprocessors, thin-film batteries, and polymer thick film led to the patented design of the thin, wireless, active iontophoretic patch. Iontophoresis is a noninvasive method that uses electrical charges to move medication through the skin.

    The patch also contains components that allow an electronic record to be kept of the date, time and quantity of each medication administered. Comfortable for patients to wear, the patch is hypoallergenic, waterproof and very thin and flexible. It offers convenience to patients and physicians, and will be especially beneficial for elderly patients who may have difficulty managing their medications, as well as patients who require ongoing delivery of medication.

    Peter J. Snyder, PhD, vice president for research at Lifespan, says, "This collaborative effort with Isis Biopolymer is a welcome partnership for the state and a model for expanding our knowledge economy. The researchers at Lifespan look forward to more opportunities with Isis to not only bring outstanding products to the market but also to further add to growing the local state economy, by making it more appealing for other companies to take advantage of the great research capabilities that we have right here."