The news comes two weeks after Medgenics’ $7m (€5m) deal with Baxter – which examined the use of the technology in the delivery of a potential treatment for haemophilia – came to an end.
A Medgenics spokesman told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that negotiations with Baxter about a new collaboration are continuing, explaining that discussions focus on observations made during the development process.
“The biopumps producing Factor VIII were delivered as contracted, however, in producing them Medgenics discovered certain things that would make production of Factor VIII more efficient and that is the data being looked at by Baxter at the moment.”
Baxter was not available for comment ahead of publication.
Protein delivery technology
Medgenics’ technology is a sustained delivery platform for protein drugs that does not rely on injections. The firm's approach is to harvest a small amount of the patient’s skin cells and insert genes that encode the protein therapeutic into these cells using adenovirus-derived vectors.
These cells – or biopumps - are then implanted back into the patient. In this way the patient produces his or her own supplies of the drug in question in a sustained manner.
Medgenics started working with Baxter in 2009, at the time suggesting that the US company's leading position in the heamophilia market testified to the promise of the biopump technology.
The US-Israeli firm made similar comments earlier this year when it announced that the agreement had been extended.
"During recent months Medgenics has made considerable progress with the performance of our Biopump technology, and we are delighted to be moving forward with our collaboration with Baxter, the global leader in hemophilia treatments," said Andrew Pearlman, Medgenics’ CEO.
However, while the negotiations suggest Medgenics is keen to keep working with Baxter on a Factor VIII treatment for the $3.2bn (€2.3bn) a year haemophilia market, failure to secure a new deal would not be the end for the delivery platform according to the firm’s spokesman.
“Biopumps are a platform technology which can be applied to almost any therapeutic protein. Continuing with Factor VIII which is one of the largest and probably most awkward proteins to produce is not mission critical to the commercial development of Medgenics.