Marianna Foldvari, a University of Saskatchewan pharmaceutical scientist, has developed a unique microscopic delivery system that could replace needles in administering proteins and genes to people. Called Biphasix™, this system is the first technology in the world that administers large protein molecules in a pharmaceutical cream applied on the skin, rather than by an injection or any other device. PharmaDerm Laboratories Ltd., set up in 1991 to market the system, was acquired in 2003 by Helix Biopharma Corp., an Ontario company that specializes in non-injection drugs and vaccines. Helix focused on developing three products: an insulin patch for the treatment of diabetes; interferon - a cream for the treatment of topical viral infections such as genital warts; and a vaccine delivery system. An insulin patch and HPV (human papilloma virus) cream are expected to be on the market by 2008.

Joe Ralko