SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan

March 31, 2011 10:45 ET

Frost & Sullivan Awards Echo Therapeutics' Proprietary Transdermal Drug Delivery Technology, the Prelude™ SkinPrep System

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2011) - Based on its recent analysis of the drug delivery market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Echo Therapeutics, Inc. with the 2011 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation for developing its platform technology, the Prelude SkinPrep System. The Prelude SkinPrep System is a non-invasive, painless, transdermal drug delivery platform for the topical delivery of pharmaceuticals and analyte extraction. The device integrates simple, low-cost solutions that can preserve the integrity of the skin, reduce the risk of infection and improve the quality of care.

Echo Therapeutics is presently awaiting the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) approval for its technology's initial novel application, which is the effective preparation of the skin for the application of over-the-counter (OTC) four percent lidocaine cream for faster-acting local dermal anesthesia. Echo has also incorporated the Prelude SkinPrep's patented skin permeation feedback control technology into its Symphony™ transdermal continuous glucose monitoring (tCGM) System-a non-invasive, wireless system for use in a critical care setting and by diabetic patients in an ambulatory environment.

Echo's patented feedback control algorithm, which measures real-time electrical conductivity of the test skin site, is vital to achieving optimal and pain-free skin preparation. Once the conductivity measurement reaches the appropriate level as identified by the algorithm, the self-regulating system automatically shuts off.

"The advantage of Prelude's proprietary feedback control algorithm is that it produces individualized, optimal skin permeation, safely removing only the .01 mm thin layer of dry, dead skin cells that comprise the stratum corneum," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Misty Hughes. "Once this barrier to entry is removed, skin permeability is enhanced, not only allowing for the transdermal delivery of a molecule, but for the non-invasive extraction of interstitial fluids as well."

A key challenge plaguing companies developing non-invasive glucometers has been unacceptable variability in glucose measurements due to poor yield through the stratum corneum. To counter this challenge, Echo incorporated its Prelude skin microabrasion technology into its lead analyte monitoring program to affect the flow of glucose across the stratum corneum. It does so by using the hand-held Prelude device to prepare a small area of the skin for the non-invasive biosensor component of the Symphony tCGM System. Once in place, needle-free Symphony wirelessly transmits the patient's glucose level every 60 seconds to a remote monitor that tracks and alerts the patient if glucose levels rise above, or fall below their personalized acceptable range.

Data from human trials comparing the Symphony approach with the traditional blood drawing methods of glucose monitoring have been overwhelmingly positive, with outcomes that were highly precise and closely correlated.

"With its functionality and innovative features, the Prelude SkinPrep System shows promise for employment in a wide array of applications ranging from insulin delivery for diabetes management to truly complex molecules such as small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)," said Misty. "The transdermal biosensor technology has the capacity to be adapted to detect additional enzymes or antibodies, possibly even markers for cholesterol, in the interstitial fluid."

Echo currently has two key strategic development partnerships in place, one in the area of drug delivery and the other in analyte extraction.

In May 2009 the company granted the Ferndale Pharma Group, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Eloquest Healthcare Inc., with the license to develop, market and sell the Prelude device for the delivery of Ferndale's topical four percent lidocaine product in North America and the U.K.

The company's development partnership for analyte extraction grants the Korean pharmaceutical company, Handok Pharmaceuticals, a license to develop, market and sell the Symphony tCGM System to continuously monitor glucose levels in diabetics and hospital patients in South Korea.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated technological superiority within its industry. Echo Therapeutics has successfully developed and introduced a new technology, formulated a well-designed product family, and made significant product performance contributions. This award lauds the relevance of Echo's innovation to the industry.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Echo Therapeutics, Inc.

Echo Therapeutics is developing the Symphony tCGM System as a non-invasive, wireless, transdermal continuous glucose monitoring system for patients with diabetes and for use in hospital critical care units. Echo is also developing its needle-free Prelude SkinPrep System as a platform technology for enhanced skin permeation for delivery of topical pharmaceuticals.

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