Timerx is an oral delivery system that releases active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) over an extended period which, according to Penwest, avoids potentially detrimental spikes in concentration in the blood stream.
Under the new deal, Penwest will provide formulation services for up to five compounds selected by Alvogen, which will then be responsible for the manufacture and ongoing clinical development of the compounds.
And, while details of the drugs or indications were not disclosed, Penwest said the partnership will target Europe and the US and highlighted Alvogen’s strength in oncology, cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology and respiratory disorders.
The deal is one of a number of ongoing agreements Penwest has with drug firms, perhaps the most notable of which is its recently extended partnership it has with Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.
That accord, like the Alvogen partnership, is focused on the application of Penwest’s Timerx technology to a number of drug candidates, details of which have not been disclosed.
Growth in the non-branded drug sector is likely to serve Penwest well going forward as both innovative drugmakers and generics producers continue to search for new delivery technologies.
For example, collaboration with delivery specialists offers Big Pharma firms a means of extending the patent life of a product at a time when many blockbusters are set to lose such status.
Conversely, generics firms competing to bring their products to market want to differentiate their drugs to ensure market share and reformulation is one way this can be achieved.
These contrasting demands make the non-branded pharmaceuticals sector “an important segment of the market for extended release technology,” according to Penwest CEO Jennifer Good.
She explained that: "TIMERx technology had its start in generics with the development of the first generic to Pfizer's Procardia XL product, which was formulated using the Alza Oros technology.
“We are pleased to be leveraging this valuable advantage of TIMERx in the development of difficult-to-formulate generic products with the expertise of the team from Alvogen."