Scientists in Sheffield could revolutionise the treatment of painful recurring ulcers after creating a plaster which sticks to the inside of the mouth.
The new biodegradable patch administers steroids directly to oral ulcers and forms a protective barrier around the affected area, accelerating the healing process.
It is the result of work by the University of Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry, which has been collaborating with Copenhagen-based Dermtreat A/S.
Dr Craig Murdoch, reader in Oral Bioscience at the School of Clinical Dentistry and lead author of the research, said: “Current treatments consist of using steroids in the form of mouthwashes, creams or ointments, but these are often ineffective due to inadequate drug contact times with the lesion.
“The patch acts like a plaster inside your mouth, which means it is very effective at directly targeting the specific area as well as forming a protective barrier.
“Patients who have trialled the patch found it to be very comfortable to wear.”
Dermtreat A/S was recently awarded $17.7m from the venture capital firm Sofinnova.
The funding will take the patches into phase two clinical trials at several sites in the US and UK, including at the Charles Clifford Dental Hospital in Sheffield.
Its chief executive, Jens Hansen, said: “Collaboration with the University of Sheffield has undoubtedly accelerated the translation of our intellectual property towards clinical use. Our company are very confident that we will soon gain regulatory approval for the first adhesive drug delivery technology to address pressing clinical needs in oral medicine.”