Recipharm invests in metal-linked API delivery tech in Synthonics deal

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

Recipharm invests in metal-linked API delivery tech in Synthonics deal

Related tags: Pharmacology

Recipharm has invested $2m (EUR1.8m) in metal co-ordinated chemistry (MCC) specialist Synthonics in a deal that will also see it help develop the US firm’s range of targeted drug products.

The Swedish contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) will share its development knowhow and help Synthonics turn its metal-bound API compounds into pharmaceutical products in return for milestones and future royalties.

The deal builds on a 2013 agreement between Recipharm and Synthonics that granted the CDMO access to the latter’s metal-based drug targeting technology.

Synthonics CEO Ken Slepicka said: “We are very impressed with Recipharm’s formulation and development teams and expect this agreement and financial support to help us further advance several of our current projects to commercialisation​.”

The deal also expands Recipharm capabilities according to Carl-Johan Spak, who said Synthonics’ chemistry “offers an elegant and cost-effective means to create patentable drugs that address difficult absorption and delivery issues​.”

Delivery tech

Synthonics’ MCC delivery tech involves attaching a minute quantity of a pharmaceutically acceptable metal, such as zinc, bismuth or magnesium, to an API to create particle with more favourable delivery characteristics, such as the ability to pass through water-based or fatty environments.

Varying the metals and adjuvants used and the manner in which they are attached allows formulators to “dial in” the desired pharmacokinetic characteristics, including enhanced solubility.

Technologies that help drugs hit their targets are in demand in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly among companies developing potent cancer medications or large molecule-based therapies.

One of the highest profile of these approaches is to combine a drug active with a targeting antibody to create an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) which, despite being used in few marketing products to date, has attracted investment from a number of CMOs in recent years.

Synthonics' technology is analogous to the ADC model.

However, MCC differs because it uses an inorganic linker rather than an organic linker which can be more readily cleaved and also allows for the incorporation of performance enhancer like cell penetrants.

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