Bespak inks deal for migraine treatment

By Anna Lewcock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bespak Pharmacology

UK medical device firm Bespak has signed an agreement with new
player Zogenix for development of a fast-acting migraine treatment.

Bespak will help the US-based speciality pharmaceutical company with the development and commercialisation of their primary product - the sumatriptan Intraject delivery system. The product is a needle-free, single-use, subcutaneous delivery technology for the rapid relief of migraine.

Bespak will provide consulting services regarding the design of the product, and manufacturing services to provide various parts of the Intraject device. Zogenix currently has the product in clinical trials, and anticipates a new drug application (NDA) this year.

Bespak is hoping for a manufacturing contract once the product become commercialised, and has confidence in the product.

"It's a good technology and the principle of the mechanism is good,"​ said Chris Halling of Bespak.

The Intraject system allows patients to self-administer drugs to the fatty region under the skin by firing the liquid treatment through the skin-surface. From there the drug enters the blood stream in a similar way to conventional needle-based injection.

The technology platform has been passed from pillar to post over the last few years before arriving at its current home with Zogenix. The company acquired the technology and related manufacturing infrastructure from Aradigm Corporation in August 2006 for $4m (€3.1m), and it previously belonged to Western Medical.

Bespak was familiar with the technology platform through working with the previous owners, and so made the logical choice of development partner for Zogenix.

Zogenix's business is focused on the development and commercialisation of medicines to treat central nervous system disorders and pain, and is aiming to develop and commercialise additional applications for teh Intraject product Intraject beyond sumatriptan.

Sumatriptan itself is approaching patent expiration, and is typically administered via a proprietary delivery system from GlaxoSmithKline. Sumatriptan is currently the market leader in the $2.5bn US market for the triptan class of migraine drugs, and with the new product Zogenix is hoping to cash in on this lucrative market.

Although financial details regarding the agreement between the two companies could not be disclosed, a spokesperson for Bespak told In-PharmaTechnologist that the deal was along similar lines to an agreement the firm signed with Glide Pharma Back in October 2006.

That deal was for the development of a needle-free injection device, the first commercial application of which will coincidentally be the delivery of sumatriptan for migraine relief.

"Its purely a coincidence," Halling told​ "It's an attractive market for a number of pharmaceutical companies - non-invasive treatments with rapid onset are the Holy Grail."

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