Blog: Bioavailability and its importance to drug development
By Alistair Vickery, Emyria Medical Director
Almost all of us have been prescribed medication and told that we should either take it with or without food.
While you might have followed these instructions, you may not have considered the reason those instructions are given in the first place.
Much of the time, the reason is bioavailability.
Put simply, bioavailability is a measure of how much medication taken reaches the target organ.
An intravenous drug, for example, sees almost 100% of the drug reach the intended organ, whereas medications that are taken orally, like CBD capsules, are affected by a range of factors that impede availability.
Those factors include:
- Materials currently in the gut, such as food drink and other medications
- How the gut absorbs the medicine
- Once absorbed, the medication first passes the liver where enzymes can further breakdown the medication
Only after that process does the medication enter the bloodstream and reach the target organ, and even then, there are other factors involved such as excretion that can reduce the effectiveness even further.
That makes bioavailability one of the most important problems to solve when developing medicines.
The more bioavailable the medication, the less a patient needs to take to achieve the desired effect.
In developing cannabinoid-based medicines, increased bioavailability can be a significant advantage.
Emyria’s 100% owned, ultra-pure CBD dose form EMD-RX7 demonstrates more than 4 times the bioavailability to the only registered CBD oil – Epidyolex – in a recent pharmacokinetic animal study, may mean lower doses for the same clinical effect with fewer side effects and greater tolerability.
The increased bioavailability in this proprietary medicine is enabled by the carriers used with the drug, which contains none of the contaminants traditionally associated with CBD, and allows for more of the drug to penetrate the wall of the gut and reach the bloodstream.
Beyond the reduction in the amount of medicine a patient needs to take, the other major advantage of a more bioavailable product is that it can help bypass the need for a patient to always have food in their stomach to boost the medicine’s effectiveness.
This creates more certainty that the required dose is reaching the target.
Lower doses with more consistent absorption means better results, fewer side effects and cheaper medication. That’s an advantage for the patient, but it’s also advantage to doctors and researchers.
That’s why the bioavailability results of Emyria’s medicines are so promising in our mission to find data-backed health solutions for patients with unmet needs.