Researchers successfully test novel microbiome-based topical drug delivery platform

A novel drug delivery method can help avoid patient non-adherence for medication, a study found. By using a bacteria, bacillus subtilis, for topical application, the authors found it survived on the skin for at least one day after application.

In addition to testing the longevity of B. subtilis​ on skin, the authors tested whether the addition of an antibiotic and nutrient source could improve results. 

The need for improved topical delivery platforms

“Non-adherence accounts for an estimated 10% of drug-related hospital admissions…” the authors write. While reducing the frequency that the medication must be administered can decrease non-adherence, for topical medications, it only stays on skin for a short period of time, necessitating at least daily application. “The need for frequent administration of topical delivery formulations can negatively impact patient adherence, especially in the case of chronic diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.”

The use of bacteria as drug delivery vehicles is emerging in dermatology in preclinical products. B. Subtilis​ is naturally found in skin microflora and has benefits including nonpathogenic properties, it’s a natural antimicrobial and it’s used often in the biotechnology field. The formulation used for this study was an engineered strain of B. subtilis​ that produces green fluorescent protein (GFP).  

The product tested for this study is described as a microbiome-based, topical delivery platform that is long-acting. It was tested in computational analysis, ex vivo pig and human skin and in vivo mice.

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