BioDelivery Sciences International (BDSI; Morrisville, North Carolina) reported that it has engaged Addison Whitney (Charlotte, North Carolina) to develop the brand identity and brand strategy for its BEMA drug delivery technology and BEMA Fentanyl, the company's lead BEMA formulation.

Due to the nature of the BEMA technology and the scope of its potential product capabilities, BDSI said it "believes the branding process is a critical component of the company's BEMA commercialization strategy."

The BEMA drug delivery technology consists of a dissolvable, dime-sized polymer disc for application to mucosal (inner lining of cheek) membranes. BEMA discs deliver a dose of drug across mucous membranes for time-critical conditions.

The technology, which is targeted initially at the areas of pain management, sedation and post-operative care, is exclusively licensed to BDSI on a worldwide basis.

BEMA Fentanyl is designed to offer the advantages of a "fast-acting, patient-friendly delivery" of the FDA-approved pain medication fentanyl, providing "ease of use and convenience," the company said.

Applied with the BEMA technology, fentanyl has the potential to meet the need for new treatments for breakthrough pain (episodes of severe pain which "break through" the medication used to control the persistent pain) in opioid-tolerant patients. As previously reported, BDSI expects to complete its Phase III BEMA Fentanyl trials for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain during the second half of 2006.