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Acrux thrives in Victoria's creative biotech environment

09 June, 2006

Acrux Limited is an innovative Melbourne-based biomedical company that is developing valuable products for global pharmaceutical markets. It is growing its portfolio of international partnerships including some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Founded in 1998, Acrux has developed a new non-invasive drug delivery system that is the next generation of drug delivery through the skin and many applications for pharmaceutical, veterinary and cosmeceutical products.

InvestVictoria Melbourne Australia

''We continue to benefit from our Melbourne location, its highly qualified workforce, proximity to researchers and advisors at the Victorian College of Pharmacy (Monash University) in Parkville, as well as a number of other medical research institutions and specialised contract manufacturers," says Dr Igor Gonda, Managing Director and CEO of Acrux.

Acrux's technology consists of three essential components. They are the Metered Dose Transdermal System (MDTS®) - which is a family of applicators for administration of drugs to the surface of the skin; ACROSS enhancers - commonly-used, safe ingredients from sunscreens that enhance the penetration of drugs through the skin; and the Patchless Patch - a liquid spray that enables the formation within the skin of a depot of drug and penetration enhancer.

The technology is based on the discovery by scientists from Melbourne's Monash University (Victorian College of Pharmacy) who found that certain sunscreen components facilitate the passage of drugs through the skin. Acrux developed easy to use applicators that spray a measured dose of the drug formulated with enhancer onto the skin.

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Acrux, Dr Igor Gonda, says the company is at the forefront of this new technology because of the innovative environment surrounding its Melbourne base.

''We receive many benefits from our Melbourne location, especially from our proximity to researchers and advisors at the Victorian College of Pharmacy in Parkville and a compact, easily accessible Central Business District where many of the service providers for Acrux reside'' he says.

''The Government's interest in the promotion of biotechnology and related healthcare industries is helping to attract potential partners and investors to Melbourne. The city has also a great ambience which makes it so much easier to attract employees from other parts of the country as well as from overseas" he added.

International interest in products being developed by Acrux has led to business agreements.

In February 2004, Acrux's wholly-owned subsidiary FemPharm secured two deals totalling US$13.3 million with a US-based company, VIVUS Inc, to develop its novel transdermal spray for treatment of female sexual dysfunction and menopause.

The company also has commercial agreements the US-based companies Eli Lilly and Connetics for the development of new products and has research and development collaborations with several other international organisations.

Acrux is particularly looking for global partners with expertise in marketing and selling in the markets where their products would fit best - and these markets are focussed on chronic pain, anxiety and women's health.

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