Arecor Therapeutics plc and Trx Biosciences Limited announced a research collaboration for the formulation development of an oral glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist product. GLP-1 receptor agonists are a class of therapeutic peptides used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity, in a global market predicted to reach $80-$100+ billion by 20301. Oral delivery of this class of drug is extremely challenging owing to the proteolytic nature of the digestive system which significantly reduces bioavailability.

Injection remains the most common delivery form for therapeutic peptide drugs, limiting adoption, compliance and usage among patients, who would prefer a simpler, more practical oral therapy. The only GLP-1 receptor agonist currently available to patients in pill form - Novo Nordisk's semaglutide (Rybelsus®?) - has oral bioavailability of less than 1%2. Using TRx Biosciences' LipiCore?? oral delivery technology alongside Arecor's formulation platform, Arestat??, the companies intend to jointly develop an oral GLP-1 receptor receptor agonist product with enhanced physicochemical properties that can achieve higher oral bioavailability and stability.

The collaboration provides scope for expansion, following the initial oral GLP-1 receptor agonIST programme, to develop further oral peptide products. These include additional peptides and combination approaches which may be key in the treatment of obesity-related health conditions, as well as peptide products targeting multiple therapeutic areas.