Technology

Overview

Lexaria has developed and commercialized a patented and cost-effective delivery technology (DehydraTECH™) that has been both laboratory and market proven to enhance the performance of beneficial compounds in ingestible products across four categories:

  • Taste
  • Smell
  • Speed of action
  • Bioabsorption & bioavailability

Lexaria’s technology is easily applied through incorporation of an intermediate step in the formulation and manufacturing of existing or new ingestible products.  This step involves mixing the beneficial compound of interest as a delivery “payload” together with certain fatty acids, infusing the mixture into a substrate material, and then using controlled dehydration synthesis processing to conjugate the payload and fatty acids together at a molecular level before integrating the newly-combined molecules into production.

Click on the video above to view a video explaining Lexaria’s DehydraTECH™ technology and illustrating how it is used to formulate and manufacture high performance ingestible consumer products.

A Versatile Solution to Improve Bioabsorption, Taste, and Efficacy

Compounds processed using Lexaria’s DehydraTECH™ system become masked to oral and olfactory receptors, rendering them essentially flavorless and odorless.  As such, DehydraTECH™ formulations do not require unwanted sweeteners or chemical masking agents for flavor and odor blocking.  This allows manufacturers to create low-sugar products with fewer calories, while also avoiding the use of excessive artificial sweeteners.

After being swallowed, the fatty acids are believed to protect the conjugated payload from hostile stomach conditions and expedite its transit to the small intestine where nutrient bioabsorption occurs.  Once in the small intestine, the fatty acids are believed to enable rapid and more significant permeation of the intestinal wall for the conjugated payload, then transport it to the systemic circulation by one of two pathways depending on the type of fatty acid(s) chosen for each specific formulation:

1. Hepatic Transport

In cases where liver metabolism is desirable for biotransformation of the payload before access to the general circulation, Lexaria’s methodology uses medium chain fatty acids for formulation purposes since they are absorbed via the portal vein and transported to the liver for processing prior to entering the general circulation.  This would be applicable, for instance, with prodrug compounds that rely on metabolism by liver enzymes to become pharmacologically active within the human body.

2. Lymphatic Transport

Conversely, in cases where faster onset of action and/or maximizing action of the originally formulated payload without biotransformation is desirable, Lexaria’s methodology uses long chain fatty acids, which are absorbed via the lymphatic lacteals thereby diverting away from the liver and entering the general circulation very quickly.  For payloads that deliver pain relief or meet other immediate needs, this rapidity of onset is a vital benefit.

DehydraTECH™ formulations may also permit formulation with a combination of long and medium chain fatty acids in the same preparation for purposes of engineering products with both fast and sustained release profiles. Such timed-release formulations can be sought to deliver beneficial payloads both quickly, as well as over a sustained duration for several hours.

DehydraTECH™ formulations have been shown through in vitro and in vivo studies to increase intestinal bioabsorption of bioactive compounds by as much as 3-10X and demonstrate effectiveness in as little as 15 minutes after administration (see:  Research).  Lexaria’s DehydraTECH™ process has the added benefit of being very cost-effective to implement; requiring micro quantities of fatty acid ingredient incorporation into food, beverage, and capsule products at a fraction of a penny per serving, together with the use of processing equipment that is readily found in most commercial kitchen/production facilities and is highly scalable.

Commercial Applications

Lexaria’s DehydraTECH™ is designed specifically for formulating and delivering lipophilic (i.e. fat-soluble) payloads.  A robust suite patents-pending or patents granted around the world protect its use with a broad range of bioactive molecules, including Nicotine and nicotine-related molecules.

Lexaria’s technology is best thought of as an additional layer that consumer products companies and nicotine companies can utilize to improve the effectiveness of their existing or planned new products. Lexaria Nicotine Corp. has no plans to create and sell Lexaria-branded products containing nicotine. Instead, Lexaria licenses its advanced technology to other companies around the world to offer consumers the best performance possible in non-combusted nicotine products.

nicotine delivery technology lexaria nicotine corp

More than 89% of all nicotine that is consumed worldwide is delivered through smoking cigarettes. Approximately 6,000,000 deaths per year around the world are attributed primarily to the delivery of nicotine through the act of smoking according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of note: “…it is primarily the toxins and carcinogens in tobacco smoke – not the nicotine – that cause illness and death.” (U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE]). As many as 69% of U.S. adult smokers want to quit smoking and 43% of US adult smokers have attempted to quit in any twelve-month period. Lexaria postulates that delivery of nicotine to satisfy current demand, utilizing our patented DehydraTECH technology in common food and consumer product formats, could shift demand away from smoking cigarettes. However, ingestion of nicotine is challenging because it is poorly tolerated by the human gastrointestinal system and then significantly metabolized by the liver, thereby diminishing its overall effectiveness through edibles. Lexaria’s DehydraTECH technology offers a means to formulate ingestible product formats of nicotine and/or its analogues with higher bioavailability performance possibilities due to the benefits of our technology.

Lexaria’s methodology can be applied to many different ingestible product formats including foods, beverages, oral suspensions, tablets, capsules and more. This is accomplished through choosing an appropriate GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) substrate compound for infusion during performance of the Lexaria formulation and manufacturing process, whether for use in a food product, a capsule or tablet, or many beverage formats. Many of the most common base ingredients used in modern processing of foods, beverages and supplements are effective to use with DehydraTECH and fall within the patents already issued to Lexaria.

Videos

Lexaria’s DehydraTECH

Lexaria’s Nicotine Patents and Summer 2018 Update

Research

The safety and effectiveness of Lexaria’s DehydraTECH™ technology has been studied in a series of controlled and well designed in vitro, in vivo and human focus studies, examining factors such as total bioabsorption directly and indirectly through surrogate biomarkers, time to onset of effectiveness, flavor appeal and quality of effectiveness.  Studies include two 2018 animal studies that delivered ground breaking results showcasing the improvements of nicotine delivery both to blood plasma as well as across the blood-brain-barrier.

Patent Portfolio

Lexaria’s DehydraTECH™ technology is covered by issued and pending patents in over 40 countries around the world.  Lexaria`s patent suite commenced with two initial 2014 US provisional patent applications.  Since then, Lexaria has broadened the patent suite considerably by refining the patent claims via further US provisional and utility patent filings, extending the breadth of the claims considerably to name other compounds including but not limited to nicotine, vitamins and NSAID, that the technology can be applied to and many other consumer product formats in which they can be formulated.  Under US patent law, a patent upon issuance provides for 20 years of patent protection from the date of filing.

In addition to the US patent filings, Lexaria has also pursued international patent protection through filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, followed by national filings in 40+ jurisdictions of highest commercial potential thereunder. Links to our very first US and Australian patents are provided for your convenience, below.