Novo Nordisk bags drug delivery platform
03.05.2012 - Denmark’s Novo Nordisk has exclusively licensed Caisson's heparosan-based drug delivery to develop compounds of its drug pipeline.
Oklahoma City/Austin/Baegsvard – With the exclusive license deal, Novo Nordisk has secured a key platform to extend the life cycle of its existing drugs by simply attaching them to bio-inert sugar polymers, which cannot be degraded extra-cellularly. Under the terms of the agreement, Caisson Biotech LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heparinex, L.L.C, will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from the Danish drugmaker plus fees for contract research and manufacturing. In addition, Caisson will be eligible to receive milestone payments upon achievement of certain predefined clinical, regulatory and commercial targets, plus royalties on the global sales of the therapeutic products developed under the agreement, representing a total deal value of more than $100m.
Caisson’s drug delivery technology, who was invented by the firm’s CSO Dr. Paul DeAngelis at the University of Oklahoma, utilises heparosan, a naturally occurring sugar polymer that is stable and inert in the bloodstream, but is biodegradable inside cells for the purpose of cloaking, enlarging and/or protecting drug cargo. Heparosan can be customised with respect to polymer size and conjugation chemistry, thus increasing product half-life, reducing immunogenicity, and increasing stability.
In contrast to PEGylation, heparosanylation shows no toxicity. Additionally, Caisson Biotech claims higher and faster water solubility, longer excretion half life and its larger flexibility concerning usage to different drug types and delivery systems.