UPDATED: Microchips Biotech partners with Teva on wireless drug delivery, announces new CEO, raises $18M in financing
On the heels of Microchips Biotech's $35 million partnership with Teva to apply the company's electronic drug delivery implant for administration over months to years toward at least one disease area, the company announced that Cheryl Blanchard, the former chief scientific officer of Zimmer, will become its new CEO.
"Cover all the bases" is the theme of FierceDrugDelivery's annual list of the top drug delivery partnerships. Finding 10 significant alliances that represent the full range of drug delivery advances was a challenge, and there are certainly other deals out there that are both novel and of high importance.
Still, the tie-ups highlighted here represent the arena's diversity on multiple levels. Half of the deals involve use of drug delivery devices like "smart" inhalers and drug-coated angioplasty balloons, while others focus on the molecular aspects, like transportation across biological barriers and the development of formulations that are efficacious and/or differentiate the medication.
We considered deals that commenced in 2014 and so far in 2015.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a formulation of Endo's pain med, Opana ER--that's supposed to be difficult to crush--is responsible for an outbreak of HIV in southern Indiana, because the changes made it easier to prepare the drug for more dangerous intravenous or subcutaneous injection. Time reports that drug addicts prefer the formulation to heroin even though it is more expensive and doesn't last as long. HIV spread through the sharing of needles, resulting in at least 135 HIV infections in a rural Indiana county of 4,200 people. Read more >>
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Acorda Therapeutics moved a step closer to collecting the payoff from its $525 million acquisition of Civitas, maker of an inhaled levodopa, in the scramble to deliver an improved formulation of the standard Parkinson's med. The conventional oral formulation suffers from unpredictable absorption in the bloodstream and a wearing-off effect after about 5 years.
Cynapsus kicked off patient enrollment in its Phase III clinical trial of sublingual apomorphine for Parkinson's patients who stop responding to levodopa.
Pennsylvania-based OptiNose, the creator of a bi-directional device for nasal medications, garnered positive results in a late-stage trial for its nasal polyp treatment. The company adds the anti-inflammatory treatment to its clinical lineup of migraine and autism candidates, both of which use the same delivery tech.
The FDA warned that a transdermal patch used to treat ADHD in children and adolescents can lead to chemical leukoderma, or permanent skin discoloration, as a result of the skin's repeated exposure to specific chemical compounds.
RNAi specialist Alnylam said that development of its early-stage subcutaneous compound for hemophilia and rare bleeding will be accelerated following ongoing Phase I trial results, which indicated that the candidate can knock down levels of the anticoagulant known as antithrombin by up to 86%. Pivotal trials for FDA approval are slated to begin in mid-2016.
Hydrogels are known to give drugs an edge when it comes to quick deliverability and simple application, but their long-term efficacy has come into question as their release rates are difficult to control. Researchers in Singapore have developed a new kind of hydrogel that prevents this premature release and allows for fewer doses in patients with chronic diseases like hepatitis C.
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The Washington Post took a swing at medical device association AdvaMed, saying its often-cited claim that more than 30,000 jobs were lost in the U.S. due to the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices contains significant factual errors or obvious contradictions or both.
Ethicon, the Johnson & Johnson unit devoted to surgical tools, is moving to defend its bariatric surgery territory as a slew of noninvasive medical devices to treat obesity line up to gain approval in the U.S. It will spend $3.2 million on more than 20 clinical trials to examine how early surgical intervention can be used to improve conditions such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.