The deal with California based MediVas is aimed at developing more advanced, longer-lasting haemophilia treatments that could be more conveniently administered.
Haemophilia is a rare blood-clotting disorder, affecting around 130,000 people worldwide, and is caused by a deficiency in one of two proteins - Factor VIII (haemophilia A) or Factor IX (haemophilia B). Although these proteins can simply be replaced through supplements, the treatments do not last long and have to be administered via injection.
Wyeth already has two haemophilia treatments, one for each type of the disease: ReFacto for haemophilia A and BeneFix to treat haemophilia B, currently the best selling haemophilia B product.
It will team up with MediVas, which specialises in developing biodegradable polymer-based drug delivery systems that make biopharma drugs last longer by preventing them from being broken down in the body too quickly. This approach enables a biopharmaceutical to be administered in different ways.
By combining Wyeth's protein-based haemophilia drugs and MediVas technology, the companies hope to "offer an alternative to the intravenous administration of these proteins," said MediVas CEO Kenneth Carpenter.
"The novel approach of polymer-based delivery systems could offer promise for other therapeutic applications," said Redmond.
Wyeth also hopes to increase patient convenience by reducing the number of treatments needed. Through another collaboration deal, this time with French company, Nautilus Biotech, Wyeth hopes to develop longer-lasting Factor IX proteins to treat haemophilia B.
"Wyeth is continually evaluating technologies for next-generation haemophilia products that provide unique and improved features for patients," said Cavan Redmond, general manager of the BioPharma business unit at Wyeth.