SurModics drug delivery tech has day in the sun with Clinuvel

It's summertime, and our thoughts turn to sun-induced skin disorders. Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals, based in Melbourne, Australia, and SurModics Pharmaceuticals in Birmingham, AL, have been working together for a number of years to figure out how to protect those most vulnerable to the sun's rays. This past week, that collaboration culminated in a license agreement.

What SurModics brings to the partnership is a biodegradable polymer that enables site-specific, sustained release of medications. In this case, the medication is Clinuvel's Scenesse, whose active ingredient afamelanotide has been refined over the course of the past eight years for treatment of a number of skin disorders caused by sensitivity to light.

Clinuvel is currently in Phase II trials in the United States for treatment of erythropoietic protoporphyria, which produces painful photosensitivity.

"With this partnership, I believe that we are assured a safe and really a secure delivery of Scenesse for our clinical studies and for our commercial use," Jack Wood, Clinuvel non-executive director, said in an audio file posted on the Clinuvel website.

Terms of the deal were not released. SurModics produces its biodegradable polymer at a manufacturing facility in Birmingham.

- here's the SurModics/Clinuvel release
- see the report from In-PharmaTechnologist
- here's the Clinuvel audio file
- get more on erythropoietic protoporphyria