Texas oral drug delivery specialist Neos Therapeutics pulled in $15.5 million in a Series C round of financing to help propel its line of ADHD controlled-release treatments to the market.
Neos' time-release ion masking technology allows for the controlled dosing of already-approved APIs that the company says is ideal for both pediatric and geriatric patients. For children with ADHD in particular, CEO Vipin Garg told FierceDrugDelivery, the slow release of drugs throughout the day offers greater parental control and ease of administration.
With three generic ADHD treatments in the pipeline, the company is on the lookout for potential partners down the road. Garg, who joined the company late last year, said the Series C from existing investors would help get them there.
The ionic masking delivery technology uses an ion resin that allows for a liquid suspension with a highly controlled or delayed release, Neos' chief technology officer, Mark Tengler, told FierceDrugDelivery.
"This tech is ion resin-based, so we take a small-molecule ionic API that is safe and effective and bind it to the ion resin, then coat it for controlled release," Tengler said. "As soon as you swallow it, the ions cross the membrane at a rate-determining step."
With this type of delivery tech, there are several options to create complex treatments, including drugs that release one drug immediately, Tengler said, and then release another for an extended period of time. In terms of an ADHD treatment, Garg said this is particularly attractive and patient-friendly. The drug, which must be dosed at home and not at school, gives a child full coverage throughout the day, giving parents control over the dosing.
But Neos met with some trouble in April 2013 as biotech giant Shire ($SHPG) sued the company in Texas federal court over Shire's patents for the ADHD drug Adderall, according to an article from Law360 at the time. It's not the first time Shire has made this move to save its patents, and the Irish company has been accused in the past of using settlements to keep generics off the market.
But Neos is moving forward with its NDAs in hopes of reaching commercialization within the next two years.
"We're looking to explore every option, and a partnership at this point is very attractive," Garg said. "There's been significant demand from pharma, and multiple companies have shown interest. We hope to move these programs forward and explore every opportunity in less than 24 months."
Early last year, Pfizer ($PFE) launched its own version of a once-daily ADHD treatment, which was the first on the market.
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