Pharma-Med, Inc., Pioneering Technology for your Health
By LVEDC Staff on July 23, 2012
As one might imagine, taking vitamins and medicines would be easier if disguised as tasty chewing gum rather than giant-sized pills that are difficult to swallow.
Dr. Nebiyou Getahoun, the president of Pharma-Med, Inc., of Bethlehem, thinks so too and he has taken his more than 20 years of analytical, formulation and regulartory affairs experience in the pharmaceutical industry to develop chewing gum nutritional supplements and pioneer a gum drug delivery system.
Getahoun, who was part of the pioneering team that created the generic version of Nicoret gum, is currently marketing a line of mint and cinnamon flavored Folic Acid, B12 , fruit flavored children’s multi-vitamin gum and orange flavored C chewing gum vitamins under the NuiTabGum brand name. Getahoun is awaiting final patents on the gum technology which addresses several areas of flavor release and other classified claims that make NuiTabGum so effective and delicious.
He is also testing the technology to offer a gum product to companies in the pharma and biotech industry for delivery of medicines as well as nutritional supplements.
“The advantage of using chewing gum is to avoid systemic side effect such stomach upset since drug substance are absorbed directly through the buccal and sublingual cavity (mouth and tongue),” said Getahoun. “The gum is sugar-free, there is no need for water and as an added bonus, it acts as a breath cleanser and mouth freshener.”
Currently, NuiTabGum is distributed online and in health food stores and pharmacies in New York City, New Jersey, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and with winter fast approaching, Pharma-Med can hardly keep up with the demand for the vitamin C gum.. In addition, Pharma Med is gearing up to introduce a new vitamin gum of Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10), a powerful antioxidant and energy generating substance found in all human cells. Recent studies show benefits of Co-Q10 in cancer and cardiac patients.
“Our team has more than 50 years combined experience in the development of drug delivery systems and manufacturing technology,” said Getahoun. “We understand the rheological phenomenon of the gum process, and how medicines will release out of the gum matrix and move from the gum into the body. In addition we use our combined expertise and knowledge of the various factors that could impact release and absorption using gum to help our customers develop a gum formula for their particular product.”
A Pennsylvania Minority Business Development (PMBDA) low-interest loan through Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation’s local funds as well as one from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority got Getahoun started.
“These loans are additional resources that a minority business owner should consider in helping secure the financing they need to start their businesses,” said Judy Yanega, LVEDC’s Manager of Finance. “Many great business ideas never come to fruition because of financial concerns and constraints, so we encourage individuals to take advantage of every available source of grants and loans and help them find and secure them.
“I can’t say enough about the folks from LVEDC, they are extremely helpful,” said Getahoun. “When I had a mind to start this business, I came to it as a scientist, not a businessman. I met with LVEDC and they have worked with me through the entire process.”
“In the beginning, I didn’t have a business plan, only a very good idea,” he added. “They were so helpful and impressed by Pharma-Med’s potential, they even supported me when I defended my loan application in front of the PMBDA board.”
In addition to Pharma-Med’s work with forward-thinking delivery systems, Getahoun and his team still work with clients to produce products using conventional tableting, capsule and coating technologies. The company is also developing several generic pharmaceutical products and anticipates submitting eight Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDA’s) to the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in 2014.
In addition, Pharma-Med is completing contract research for several nutritional, over the counter and pharmaceutical products. And because many Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s) taste nasty, Pharma -Med also offers products to help customers mask the taste of drugs ingested in traditional ways.
“Whether liquids, an orally disintegrating tablet, a chewable tablet or chewing gum, medicines and supplements are only helpful if people take them,” said Getahoun.
Getahoun and the Pharma-Med team hope to continue their ground-breaking work and formula creations to help ensure people take their medicine and nutritional supplements.
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