Allergan snags rights to InnoCore's eye drug delivery platform

Microspheres from InnoCore designed to encapsulate drugs for injection--Courtesy of InnoCore

Allergan ($AGN) teamed up with the Dutch drug delivery company InnoCore this week to further develop sustained-release ophthalmic products using InnoCore's drug delivery platform SynBiosys.

InnoCore entered the exclusive license agreement to bolster the biopharma behemoth's line of ophthalmic drugs with its polymeric platform, which is designed to deliver drugs in the eye for long periods of time--from two weeks to 6 months--with a single injection. The SynBiosys platform is based on bioresorbable polymers that are designed to keep small molecules and proteins structurally intact in an acidic environment by maintaining a neutral pH within the polymer.

Furthermore, InnoCore uses the SynBiosys material as the basis for its injectable microspheres with a controlled particle size of about 20 to 50 microns. These self-encapsulated particles are what protect drugs in the body and in such difficult-to-treat regions as the eye.

For Allergan, a leader in the ophthalmologic arena, the development of more advanced delivery techniques would give its treatments a leg up, especially for back-of-the-eye diseases such as macular edema, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, the treatments for which can include numerous uncomfortable injections in the eye. The biotech giant, beyond its line of glaucoma, dry eye and external eye diseases, says it plans to renew focus on these more serious conditions in years to come.

Among InnoCore's other products are two drug-eluting stents in clinical and preclinical stages, as well as treatments for cancer and osteoarthritis also in early development; all of its products make use of the polymer-based platform.

- here's the release