Irish pharmaceutical group Elan got a lift yesterday when its drug delivery business unit, NanoSystems, signed an agreement with US pharmaceutical major Bristol-Myers Squibb for its NanoCrystal technology.
Elan said the license will provide Bristol-Myers Squibb with access to NanoCrystal technology and the right to develop and commercialise products incorporating this technology, which is designed to improve the solubility of compounds with poor dissolution kinetics. It is estimated that around 40 per cent of all medicines on the market suffer from poor water solubility.
The delivery system gained its first commercial approval a month ago, when Johnson & Johnson's NanoCrystal-based version of its immunosuppressant drug Rapamune (sirolimus) was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The agreement includes formulation services, technology transfer, development milestones and royalties on sales of products incorporating or made with the technology.
"This license agreement represents the successful culmination of several years of collaboration with BMS in which NanoCrystal technology has been applied to a variety of their proprietary drug candidates," said NanoSystems' chief operations officer Dr Joseph Fix.
The deal is a lift for Elan, which has been struggling to meet debt commitments of more than $1 billion (€860 million) and has sold off a huge number of products and other assets over the last few months. Financial details of the BMS deal were not provided.