Sandoz teams with delivery tech firm MedinCell to get under the skin of cancer
The non-exclusive collaboration - of which financial details have not been disclosed - centre’s around MedinCell’s BEPO technology platform, a combination of co-polymers, solvent and API which forms a biodegradable depot when injected subcutaneously.
“BEPO technology can provide a controlled release of drug for days, weeks or months,” David Heuzé, a spokesman for Montpellier, France-based MedinCell told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
Sandoz has already selected its first candidate to develop with BEPO, and while the actual molecules being investigated were not disclosed, the firms said the primary focus would be on cancer drug generics.
“We begin with generic, small molecule, APIs in oncology, and biologics will come later,” said Heuzé who added hi firm is currently working on an extension for the BEPO platform to fit with biologics.
Sandoz spokesman Chris Lewis offered no further comment on the deal at this stage.
Long-acting subcutaneous drug depots can offer advantages in the form of patient compliance, efficacy and tolerability over alternative delivery mechanisms.
Such tech is used to deliver a number of contraceptive drugs, as well as AstraZeneca’s blockbuster prostate cancer drug Zoladex (goserelin), administered through a solid state deposit that dissolves in the body over three months.
But BEPO offers a number of advantages over similar platforms, Heuzé told us, including extra versatility, enhanced tolerability for the patient, minimal immediate release burst effect, and the relatively low cost for development and manufacturing.
The polymers used in BEPO are made by CM Biomaterials - a joint venture between MedinCell and Dutch firm Corbion formed last August – from Corbion’s plants in The Netherlands and the US.
According to Heuzé, Sandoz is just the latest pharma company to invest in the technology.
“We already have several partnerships with all-sizes companies including other Top10 pharma. We currently have 6 active programs and we plan to launch more than 15 additional programs by 2020.”