The recent FDA approval for a revised version of Rituxan and human hyaluronidase enzyme (rHuPH20) as an easy injection has pointed Halozyme to a string of collaborations to do the same for a lineup of major drugs on the market. This morning, the biotech’s hot streak continued with a $40 million upfront pact with Alexion, which wants the delivery tech to turn its next-gen PNH therapy ALXN-1210 into a subcutaneous injectable.
The deal covers 4 programs in total, with $160 million each in milestones, or up to $640 million.
ALXN-1210 is already positioning itself as a promising follow-up to Soliris, the pricey treatment for rare cases of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. By turning to Halozyme $HALO, Alexion $ALXN is hoping to turn around a Phase III study showing how this new tech — which degrades hyaluronan, a glycosaminoglycan or chain of natural sugars in the body — can turn the IV drug into a therapy that can be injected under the skin. And there are other plans to study the impact of dosing the drug over longer intervals, every other week and once a month.
The conversion promises to bring down the cost of treatment and offer patients a much easier regimen, which will help Alexion stave off competitors that are hard at work on rivals to Soliris. That’s a critical step for a company that has little else going on in the pipeline, a situation that CEO Ludwig Hantson plans to change as he moves the company to Boston.
Just a few months ago Bristol-Myers Squibb fronted $105 million to get work on a new version of Opdivo using the Halozyme tech. Roche added another drug to their pact, with an added $190 million in upfront and milestones.
Helen Torley, the CEO at Halozyme, is happy to be stepping into the spotlight with a string of these deals for the Enhanze platform, especially after registering a setback for its pipeline effort. She says:
Enhanze has become the industry standard for converting intravenous therapies to a subcutaneous delivery, helping partners and health care providers reduce the treatment burden and administration time for patients.
The best place to read Endpoints News? In your inbox.
Comprehensive daily news report for those who discover, develop, and market drugs. Join 41,800+ biopharma pros who read Endpoints News by email every day.Free Subscription