ZARS, Inc.

Posted - Jul. 21, 2004 at 11:52 p.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

ZARS, Inc. is a Salt Lake City company that creates medical devices. Most recently, the company has been involved in creating technologies that help transmit beneficial drugs through the skin. ZARS just won an award for the CHADD patch, a revolutionary patch that allows for the delivery of beneficial drugs through the skin. CHADD, or controlled heat assisted drug delivery, is a patch designed to precisely raise the temperature of the skin from 32 degrees Celsius to 42 degrees Celsius, making it more permeable.

Larry Rigby, president and CEO of ZARS, tells me that when the temperature of the skin increases, the skin tries to reduce the temperature by opening pores and stepping up vascular circulation, which permits the drug to enter the blood stream through the skin. The first product using CHADD has finished clinical trials and is awaiting approval from the FDA.

ZARS also specializes in creams that profoundly numb the skin. These creams are mainly used before painful laser cosmetic procedures like hair, wrinkles or tattoo removal. The cream, which looks and feels like white toothpaste, is applied to the area with a tongue depressor. In less than 20 minutes, the cream dries into a rubbery, semi-solid that can easily be peeled off. Larry tells me the cream acts as excellent anesthetic without all the side effects. ZARS is also working on other products including a patch that treats severe pain and one that treats nausea. Larry hopes the patches can be used with cancer patients and other individuals with chronic pain.

ZARS stands for Jie Zhang, Michael Ashburn, Larry Rigby and Theodore Stanley, who all founded the company in 1997. ZARS has 37 employees, and most are clinical experts, engineers, M.D.s or Ph.D.s. The company conducts its own clinical trials and has corporate partnerships with Johnson & Johnson, Ferndale Laboratories and Cephalon.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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