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Highly controled functionnalized biocompatible and biodegradable poly alpha hydroxy acid biomaterials


86791-01 -03

Statut des brevets

French patent application FR0410639 filed on October 8th, 2004 and entitled « Procédé de polymérisation contrôlée des O-Carboxy Anhydrides dérivés d’alpha-hydroxy acide »

French patent application FR0602881 filed on April 3rd, 2006 and entitled « Nouveaux O-Carboxy Anhydrides (OCAs) à fonction salifiable et polymères obtenus à partir de ces OCA »


Emmanuel MARCHAL

Statut commercial

Exclusive or non-exclusive licenses


Laboratoire Hétérochimie Fondamentale et Appliquée (LHFA, UMR5069), Toulouse, France.



Biodegradable and biocompatible poly(alpha-hydroxy acids) polymers have been interestingly investigated as biomaterials for applications such as drug delivery, surgery (surgical suture) as well as othopedic surgery (implant). Nevertheless, if one wishes to develop a specific polymer for a specific application, many obstacles are encountered. For example, any drug delivery vector based on poly(alpha-hydroxy acids) will have to have a specific physical and chemical structure allowing the crossing of physiological barriers and the recognition of a specific target. PGA poly(glycolic acid) and PLA poly(L-lactic acid) which are based respectively on the copolymerisation of cyclic diesters of glycolic acid, glycolide, and of lactic acid, lactide, through the catalytic opening of the cycle are widely used. However the process of opening said cycle are practically only limited to these diesters and to reach specific properties, it is required to go through hard to settle copolymerisation with other monomers. Moreover, said polymer usually do not have functional groups. Thus, it has recently been investigated polymers based on O-carboxy anhydrides (OCAs) due to many potential applications. Their obtention is well known and requires phosgenation. As for the polymerisation of said OCAs, until now, existing process could not control all the parameters such as the polymer molar mass which is a key parameters for potential applications.


In the present work, the inventors have developped poly alpha hydroxy acids polymers from various OCAs and whose process is based on a novel metal-free catalytic system. Such process allows to completely control the process as well as the polymer molar masses. Used OCAs can also be easily functionalized. Subsequently to this first breakthrough, further developments have allowed the discovery of novel OCAs with salifiable functional groups and poly(alpha-hydroxy acid) from these OCAs as well as the process with a new catalytic system.


Suitable process for multi-gram scale synthesis;
Controlled polymer molar mass from 1.000 to 50.000 g/mol.


The polymerisation process developped by the inventors have numerous advantages:

  • It allows the control of the polymer molar mass;
  • No metals are involved in the catalytic systems;
  • And it only requires mild conditions.

As for the polymer such process allows to obtain:

  • Its molar masses can be precisely controlled;
  • It can be functionalized;
  • And it it is biocompatible and biodegradable.


Such biocompatible and biodegradable polymers can be considered as high-value raw biomaterials and can be transformed into specific materials for application such as drug delivery, surgery (surgical suture) or othopedic surgery (implant). Every application requires compounds with specific parameters and the present invention aims at offering such possibility.

For further information, please contact us (Ref 86791-01 -03)

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  • Ce champ n’est utilisé qu’à des fins de validation et devrait rester inchangé.

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