Under the deal Unilife has granted Sanofi exclusive rights to use the 'Unifill Finesse' device for the delivery of anti-thrombotics, in this case the French firms therapy enoxaparin sodium which it sell under the Lovenox and Clexane brand names.
The deal, which will also see Unlife manufacture the technology on Sanofi's behalf, enables the syringe maker to license the technology to other manufacturers for use in the delivery of drugs for other indicaitons.
The agreement will allow Sanofi to simplify its supply chains according to spokesman Frederic Lemonde who told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that:“Currently Sanofi provides Clexane/Lovenox with different devices coming therefore from different facilities."
“The deal with Unilife will bring an added value for our customers, reinforcing the safety aspects of a performing device looking at reducing the risk of needle stick injuries," he continued, adding that: “Sanofi has kept evolving with cutting edge technology for delivering its products” and this deal demonstrates “an evolution in safety device syringes.”
The Unifill Finesse syringe is described by Unilife as a primary drug container, an automatic safety product and a needle containment system, due to such features as its automatic and controlled needle retraction.
Unilife - who is set to receive a minimum of $5 million and up to $15 million in milestone-based payments before the end of 2013 - intends to ramp up production of the prefilled syringe over the next four years and will eventually supply Sanofi 150m units a year.
However, analysts from Jefferies said in a note pricing may be close to $0.70 per syringe, suggesting annual sales for Unilife of $105m.
“The signing of this supply contract reaffirms the business model we have worked so hard in pursuing,” said Alan Shortall, CEO of Unilife. “The long-term contract provides the customer with continuity of supply.”
As for Sanofi, Lemonde told us it remained open to extending the deal to other indications and drugs in its pipeline but for now wants “first to make a success with Lovenox before trying any other product.”