Apogee Technology (Norwood, Massachusetts) said it has signed an agreement with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's (UMDNJ; Newark, New Jersey) Laboratory for Drug Delivery to conduct research and testing on the company's transdermal drug delivery device.

The delivery device has been designed on a micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) platform. The company said it offers multiple benefits in the use of proteins, vaccines and other large-molecule pharmaceuticals that currently provide therapies for the management of disease and chronic pain conditions.

Apogee said it selected the Laboratory for Drug Delivery at UMDNJ to study the compatibility of representative large-molecule drugs with Apogee's patent-pending transdermal solution. The device is designed to be part of an alternate delivery solution for new and existing large-molecule drugs currently used to treat various conditions, such as diabetes, infectious disease, acute pain and chronic pain.

Completion of preliminary studies by UMDNJ is expected by year-end, followed by the testing of Apogee's solution for use with selected target drugs for commercialization in 2007.

The market for transdermal drug delivery is projected to be $12.7 billion this year and is expected to increase to $21.5 billion in 2010.

New Puerto Rican plant for Cardinal

Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio), a provider of healthcare products and services, reported the opening of a new manufacturing plant in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, for its Pyxis Products business. Pyxis products are designed to improve patient safety and increase quality of care in healthcare facilities.

"Cardinal Health is known for bringing quality products to market and Puerto Rico is known for its highly skilled work force. It's a good fit," said Sally Grigoriev, senior vice president of manufacturing and operations for the Clinical Technologies and Services segment of Cardinal Health. "Also, Cardinal Health already has a strong infrastructure on the island, which has allowed for a seamless expansion."

Cardinal now operates six facilities employing nearly 1,000 in Puerto Rico. The latest facility in Las Piedras will manufacture components for the Pyxis MedStation automated medication management system and Pyxis SupplyStation supply management system. Finished goods for the Pyxis HelpMate SP automated trackless robotic courier also will be manufactured there.