Smart skin patch wins French ‘Worldwide Innovation Challenge’ award

28 April 2014

Rhenovia Pharma has announced that its SMARTT e-Patch project has won an award at the ‘World Innovation Challenge’; founded by the President of France to identify future champions in the French economy.

The SMARTT e-Patch is a transdermal patch that allows the controlled administration of up to seven medicinal products through the use of an inbuilt electronic system programmed by the treating doctor.

Initially designed to make it easier for patients suffering from nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s to take medicinal products, Rhenovia’s patch can be extended to support a significantly larger range of chronic conditions such as vascular, inflammatory and neurological disease.

By enabling the chronobiological administration and controlled dosage of medicinal products, it has the effect of increasing efficacy, improving bioavailability and minimizing side effects. The transdermal patch also prevents doses being missed or taken erratically by patients who are confused, or who require third party assistance.

A patent was filed in 2012 for Rhenovia’s intelligent transdermal patch. It combines a number of technological innovations, including an ultra-slim battery, a printed electronic circuit on a flexible substrate, UV-LED ink, a novel photolabile ligand, transdermal nanovectors and non-contact programming.

“In singling out the SMARTT e-Patch project, the World Innovation Challenge panel has highlighted the innovative nature of our intelligent transdermal patch and the appropriateness of its response to a major health challenge and its huge commercial potential,” said Serge Bischoff, CEO of Rhenovia. “The support of the French government, and the engagement of our partners, particularly in the Alsace region, mean that we can now accelerate its development and plan for market launch in less than five years.”

Support from the French State's program of investment for the future will help to industrialize the production of the patch within five years.

The company says development of the patch will result in the creation of a new entity to raise the funds required for its development and secure strategic partnerships with industry players in the healthcare sector. 

nanoparticles used to encapsulate drugs
Microscope view of nano-biovectors (nanoparticles that
encapsulate the drug) used in the transdermal patch

The electronics system used in the smart patch
The electronics system used in the smart patch

Innovation Commission 2030

The Innovation Commission 2030 is chaired by internationally-renowned French businesswoman Anne Lauvergeon. It was set up in April 2013 to identify seven thematic objectives based on major societal expectations and growth sectors. These objectives will form the essential pillars to ensure long-term prosperity and employment in France. The French State launched the World Innovation Challenge on December 2, 2013 to support and develop the future champions of the French economy.

As part of the Challenge, a first wave of 625 innovative international projects was submitted to French public investment bank BPI France. Of these, 134 were shortlisted and 58 made the final selection. The list of winners was revealed on March 20, 2014 by France’s Prime Minister. There were 13 award-winners in the strategic area of personalized medicine, including Rhenovia’s SMARTT e-Patch project.


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