Pertinax Pharma today announces the commercial launch of its unique, proprietary Pertinax® technology, which provides controlled and sustained delivery of chlorhexidine (CHX). The revolutionary new technology has a wide range of potential applications across the wound care, dentistry, medical device and veterinary markets. The advantage of Pertinax is that, unlike conventional CHX products, it does not dissipate rapidly and can provide precisely measured antimicrobial efficacy over days, weeks, months or even years. Consequently, Pertinax has the potential to significantly improve a wide range of existing CHX products, whilst also opening up a number of entirely new applications.

Pertinax was originally developed at the University of Bristol with primarily dental and oral hygiene applications in mind but over the past 2 years the company has validated the material in a very broad range of clinical and veterinary applications. A UK patent for the technology was granted in November 2015, and a US patent was granted in August of this year. To date, eight peer reviewed papers* have been published on the use of Pertinax in a variety of applications, demonstrating the technology’s broad applicability, efficacy and safety.

Pertinax offers two key advantages over conventional CHX formulations. The material requires lower quantities of CHX, with continuous antimicrobial function provided by less frequent applications than conventional CHX products. The material also exhibits lower cytotoxicity than equivalent concentrations of conventional CHX. 

Ashley Cooper, CEO at Pertinax Pharma, commented: “Since the inception of the company, we have focussed our efforts and investment on the characterisation of Pertinax materials and the development of a scalable manufacturing process. Having achieved these major milestones, we are now ready and eager to engage with prospective commercial partners”.

Dr. Michele Barbour, CSO, remarked: “Our unique, patented technology has wide potential application across human and vetinerary medicine. While there is scope for application across multiple sectors, wound care is our initial focus. Our technology is especially well suited to this field including in polyurethanes, alginates, acrylics and silicones”.

The company is actively seeking commercial partners in the wound care and medical device industries. Pertinax is available in kilogram quantities for development purposes, and the company plans to establish commercial cGMP production over the next 12 to 18 months.

Pertinax materials will be regulated under the EU Medicines Directive as a new active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) or under the EU Biocide Regulations as a biocide depending on the intended use – with the reduction of antiseptic usage an appealing plus point for regulators.

Sector specific applications

One potential application is in wound care where doped wound dressings incorporating Pertinax would be able to maintain the antimicrobial efficacy of CHX on the wound bed or in the dressing matrix to control biohazard build up from zero to 14 days as required. As a consequence, Pertinax significantly reduces the number of dressing changes required, which are in themselves an opportunity for secondary bacterial infection, as well as being time consuming and uncomfortable for the patient. Moreover, the material can replace the conventional, aqueous CHX digluconate present in existing wound dressings, sprays, rinses and cream products for direct topical application to wounds or skin. This providessuperior antimicrobial and antifungal function from these products, which may now provide days and even weeks of protection (as required) from infection compared to just a few hours in many cases. The company is also developing its own film forming polymers containing Pertinax – formulating them as sprays and gels as well for direct topical wound care usage.

In the field of dentistry, Pertinax can be used as a functional component of a number of dental materials, including those used for fillings (composites), adhesives and fissure sealants. Dentists are very familiar with CHX, using it to treat and prevent oral infections**. The incorporation of Pertinax into commonly used dental materials offers the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of secondary bacterial infections in the oral cavity.