Allergan sends $17.5M to UroGen to deliver Botox to overactive bladders

Israeli drug delivery specialist UroGen picked up a development deal with Allergan ($AGN) to help the pharma deliver drugs to the urinary bladder. UroGen gets $17.5 million right away in the deal, as well as milestones down the road, according to a report from Israel’s Globes.

UroGen’s platform is RTGel, a polymer that’s liquid at lower temperatures but forms a gel when heated. For delivery to the bladder, this characteristic eases delivery into the organ, but helps it remain there without being excreted. This way, drugs meant to be administered over time can do so for hours without interfering with the natural functions of the bladder. It eventually breaks down naturally.

Originally, UroGen designed its gel to aid delivery for bladder cancer treatments.

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In Allergan’s case, the platform could help safely deliver toxins to the urinary bladder. As the maker of Botox, Allergan is keen to use the drug as a treatment for overactive bladders, but the compound needs a better delivery platform to become more effective. Botox is already used to relax bladder muscles, but RTGel could allow a delayed release.

Kite Pharma ($KITE) CEO Arie Belldegrun is the chairman at UroGen, which in May was considered among a few companies likely to pull off an IPO, but it retained its privacy.