TMH sells needle-free insulin biz

By Katrina Megget

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology

The Medical House (TMH) has sold its SQ-PEN needle-free insulin
injector business as it moves away from supplying the product to
private individuals to focus more on its drug delivery systems
business.

The sale, for an initial consideration of £750,000 (€1.1m) in cash, to Diabetes Management International (DMI), would see TMH continuing to own the rights for the product with DMI being granted an exclusive worldwide licence to use the SQ-PEN technology for the delivery of insulin to humans. TMH retains the rights should the technology be used for the delivery of drugs other than insulin. Currently, the product is only used for the delivery of insulin. "As a company, we are pursuing a business model of developing, licensing and supplying [self-injection technologies and devices] to pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the world,"​ TMH managing director David Urquhart told in-PharmaTechnologist.com. "We want to put our resources into that rather than supplying the needle-free insulin business to individual patients." ​ Under the terms of the agreement, TMH would continue to manufacture the SQ-PEN for up to 12 months during the handover period, after which time DMI would take on full responsibility for all aspects of the manufacturing operation. The sale includes the newly launched SQ-X system, which differs only in that the SQ-X offers a push button activation method while the SQ-PEN just requires the user to push the nozzle against the skin to deliver the drug. Both devices utilise a powerful spring to force a fine stream of insulin to penetrate the skin and deliver the drug into the subcutaneous layer of tissue. The company will now focus on the number of agreements which have been signed for TMH's major disposable auto-injector technology and another needle-free collaboration with Merck Serono for human growth hormone delivery. An additional payment of about £60,000 will be made to TMH in respect of all stocks of SQ-PEN materials held by the company, and a further payment of £50,000 will be made to TMH after the handover 12-month period. TMH chairman Ian Townsend said in a statement: "We are delighted that the disposal releases valuable resources which can be used to build on the success of our drug delivery division. "These needle-free insulin injectors were the first drug delivery systems designed and manufactured by TMH and were instrumental in gaining a profile in the global drug delivery market. However, our business model is now clearly focussed on developing devices which we license to pharmaceutical company partners who then combine our technologies with their drug products to create competitive advantages." ​ TMH's sales of SQ-PEN products in the 12 months to June 30, 2007 totalled £90,000.

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