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It’s not a gel, it’s not a patch, it’s not a pill, it’s …

Posted Mar 16 2010 12:00am

… an underarm roll-on … and it’s a proposed new way to provide prescription-grade testosterone replacement therapy for men with low testosterone levels (hypogonadism). If it could only have acted as an antiperspirant too, maybe Gillette or Proctor & Gamble would be bringing it to market, but apparently it will be Eli Lilly & Co.

Lilly has licensed the worldwide rights to market a product called Axiron from an Australian biotechnology company. Clinical data on the effectiveness and safety of Axiron is currently under review at the FDA.

According to Richard Treagus, the CEO of the Australian biotechnology company Acrux, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald , Axiron is the first testosterone replacement product that can be applied into the armpit of a patient, like a roll-on deodorant. Testosterone replacement therapies are already available in multiple other forms: injections, pills, patches, gels, implants, and perhaps some other formulations we haven’t come across yet! Man’s ingenuity when it comes to maintaining his testosterone level is apparently only matched by his enthusiasm (or is it paranoia?).

Of course the role of testosterone replacement therapy in men treated for or at risk for prostate cancer is a controversial topic, with different experts taking very different positions. However, we didn’t want to miss this opportunity to make sure that patients for whom this is an important issue were aware of the potentially expanding range of their therapeutic options.

For a joint media release from Eli Lilly & Company and Acrux, please click here .

On a more serious note, this is the first time we have ever heard of any drug therapy being delivered as an underarm roll-on. The ability to deliver drug therapies in such a form may actually have significant ramifications for the delivery of some other forms of medication over time, if the dermal side effects are minimal on the relatively sensitive areas of skin in the armpit.

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