Published on 24 Sep 2020

Slow-release pill for Parkinson’s disease – Associate Professor Joachim Loo

It brings us great pleasure to share that Associate Professor Joachim Loo and his team’s invention – a slow-release pill for treating Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been featured in various media including CNA's Singapore Tonight, Channel8 and Capitol 958FM.

Materials scientists from NTU developed a new pill for PD patients, which can deliver drugs over 24 hours by staying afloat in the stomach. This could help with the bioavailability of the drug needed to treat Parkinson’s disease patients. Associate Professor Joachim Loocommented that they are trying to simultaneously resolve an unmet medical need while circumventing medical challenges such as fluctuating drug concentration in the blood (due to multiple doses of medication a day). Unlike conventional tablets, which dissolve in the stomach and are absorbed by the intestines quickly, these patented hollow microcapsules can stay in the stomach much longer by floating in the gastric juices.

Currently, PD patients taking Levodopa (L-dopa) may need to take up to six pills (doses) per day, with patients sometimes experiencing ‘wear off’ effects between medications. Some patients also encounter a side-effect after a long duration of treatment, in which their limbs jerk or experience involuntary spasms, known as levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID). An NTU-incubated start-up is now commercializing this new slow-release pill that delivers L-dopa over a period of 24 hours, which could help to alleviate these symptoms. The start-up, called LiberaTx, aims to use the new pill to tackle LID and low drug compliance by patients who fail to take the multiple pills of L-dopa prescribed daily.

Our heartiest congratulations to Professor Loo and his team on the excellent achievements!

Media Coverage
CNA, 16 Sep, 10pm
Channel 8, 16 Sep, 6.30pm and Online
Lianhe Zaobao, page 10
Lianhe Wanbao, 16 Sep, page 4 and Online
News Medical , 16 Sep
Mirage news
Capital 958, 22 Sep, 4.15pm
News release