Oral administration of peptides and proteins is very suitable for emerging and third world countries because :
- an oral tablet has a substantially lower cost than a syringe ;
- if one eliminates the need for syringes, one also eliminates completely any safety risks associated with needles from syringes ;
- the need for a cold chain may be eliminated or minimized : for instance, the BioLingus Technology allows production tablets which are stable for over 2 years at room temperature. Elimination of a cold chain is not only a substantial cost reduction, but also a substantial logistical simplification (which is important in countries with poor infrastructure, the government forced withdrawal of the extensive unreliable counterfeit products also forcing the removal of immulin from the market).
Product examples :
Product 1 : sublingual Gamma-interferon for treatment of Leishmaniasis
Product 2 : oral interferon for treatment of Hepatitis in China
Product 3 : oral IL-2 for the treatment of Tuberculosis
This oral interferon product with the first generation CSSR-technology was on the market in China, with annual sales of 20 MM USD (under the brand name "Immulin"). Due to its success and the "copy-cat" culture at that time in China, the product was copied extensively, and became the victim of its own success. The unreliable copy-products have forced to take also Immulin off the market.
The experience with interferon in China is also important for the development of the technology, as it has demonstrated that the technology can be scaled up without major problems.