Zogenix $86m IPO to fund needle-free development

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Migraine Nervous system

Zogenix says that proceeds from a planned $86m initial public
offering (IPO) will be used to fund development of its pipeline of
needle-free medicines for pain and central nervous system

The firm's lead product, sumatriptan DosePro, was recently accepted for review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of acute migraine.

It employs the needle-free DosePro delivery mechanism that Zogenix licensed from Aradigm in August 2006.

In the last few years, the development of needle-free delivery systems has accelerated considerably in response to the generally-held opinion that patients dislike traditional syringe-administered medications.

Furthermore, recent high profile setbacks to the inhalable drugs sector, including the market failure of Pfizer's Exubera and recent decisions by NovoNordisk and Eli Lilly to abandon similar development projects, are likely to increase the demand for effective needle-free delivery methods, In addition, the renewed focus on patient compliance as a way of improving therapeutic outcomes has seen companies with successful needle-free systems begin to attract considerable investor attention.

In a previously completed US trial, sumatriptan DosePro demonstrated bioequivalence to GlaxoSmithKline's Imitrex STATdose System, an autoinjector device based on needle delivery, when administered in the thigh or abdomen.

The DosePro system uses a pressurized dispenser to administer sumatriptan directly through the skin, thereby removing the need for invasive delivery.

Zogenix recently licensed European development and commercialization rights for sumatriptan DosePro to Germany's Desitin Pharmacueticals.

Under the terms of this agreement, the California-headquartered firm, which retains rights to the product in the US, Canada and Asia, will be responsible for manufacturing and supplying sumatriptan DosePro in return for a royalty payment on the achievement of local regulatory approval.

In the IPO registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Zogenix said that the DosePro system " has the potential to become a preferred delivery option for patients and physicians for many injected medicines beyond sumatriptan ."

The firm went on to say that the system has potential application in indications ranging from hepatitis to rheumatoid arthritis, adding that it has already been examined as a method of delivering agents including the anaemia drug erythropoietin (EPO) as well as a variety of targeted therapeutic antibodies.

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