Development of a novel drug delivery system to deliver drugs directly to the colonic mucosa

The DDS2 system could result in improved efficacy and reduced systemic exposure for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

New drugs that are safer and more effective for treating IBD are needed. One solution is to develop technologies that can deliver drugs at the site of disease, decreasing the amount of drug reaching the bloodstream. This is important because many drugs for treatment of IBD can have toxic effects at the doses needed to reach therapeutic effect.

Another challenge facing drug development is formulation. In particular, drugs that are liquid, peptides or proteins, are difficult to formulate using existing delayed and extended oral release technologies. The ability to deliver these drugs locally to the colon would be highly desirable.1

A novel drug delivery system (DDS2) is being developed by Progenity to deliver liquid drug formulations to predefined locations in the gastrointestinal tract. The mechanical capsule is autonomous and identifies location with an algorithm based on reflected light. This system could result in improved efficacy and reduced systemic exposure for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

This review compares existing colonic drug delivery systems with Progenity's novel drug delivery system (DDS2) and describes examples of potential applications designed to improve drug efficacy while limiting drug toxicity.

Advantages of the DDS2 System

The DDS2 system has potential advantages over other traditional delayed release oral formulations that make it ideal for treatment of disorders such as IBD and colon cancer:

  • Functions independently of human physiological variables, such as pH and transit time
  • Can deliver liquid formulations, peptides, and proteins
  • Can ensure a predictable high luminal drug exposure
  • Ability to limit degradation or systemic absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract
This system has the potential to improve efficacy and reduce systemic exposure for certain drugs by delivering higher doses directly to the site of inflammation.
This research was published in the journal Crohn's and Colitis 360 on July 7, 2021.
Read the manuscript
View the supplement (PDF)
Watch the capsule function video


  1. Philip AK, Philip B. Colon targeted drug delivery systems: a review on primary and novel approaches. Oman Med J. 2010;25(2):79-87.