Skin permeation

With our computational model ERCO Pharma can help you extract more information from your existing experimental data. A resolution down to atomic coordinates enables our model to explain how a molecule of interest, or an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), interacts with the skin barrier.

ERCO Pharma’s skin model

Built on the foundation of 20 years of research at Karolinska Institutet, ERCO Pharma has developed a proprietary model of the human skin barrier.

By employing cryo-electron microscopy imaging as a reference, the model has been optimized to reproduce the observed structure of the human skin barrier down to an atomistic resolution.

With this model, and our GPU-accelerated computational servers, we are able to obtain knowledge regarding transdermal drug permeation which is unobtainable using conventional experimental setups, making it a powerful tool in the design of new transdermal formulations.

Understand skin permeation

The passive transport of a molecule of interest, or an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), across the human skin barrier is a complex process, which is very challenging to fully understand using only conventional experimental methods.

With our skin model it is possible to obtain a predicted permeation rate across the stratum corneum, in silico, together with an intricate understanding of the API’s interaction with the barrier structure at an atomistic resolution. This data enables us to identify the permeation challenges unique to the API of interest, and serves as a guide in the design of an optimal transdermal formulation.

Optimized permeation enhancers

Using our model of the human skin barrier, we are able to understand, and predict, where in the barrier excipients are active. Combined with the regions identified as rate limiting for the permeation of the API, this data serves as a powerful tool when making decisions regarding the choice of which permeation enhancers to use to increase transdermal delivery.

Our high resolution data on the interaction between the permeation enhancers and the skin barrier structure also enables a more detailed understanding how various permeation enhancers promote the transport of the API, and makes it possible to investigate, and possibly explain, the mechanims of action of permeation enhancers that are not accepted for use in transdermal products today.

Integrate molecular modeling in your existing drug development process

A successful development of a transdermal drug formulation not only requires a solid understanding of the processes involved in the mechanism of action of the API, but also an optimized delivery vehicle across the human skin barrier.

Relying solely on conventional experimental techniques during the development of a transdermal delivery system for an API offers limited insight into the molecular interactions during the permeation process.

We deliver data, generated from our skin model, which complements your existing knowledge, and will enhance your underlying data sets. When integrated into your existing workflow, this will help you in the decision-making process during the various stages of preclinical drug development.