Denmark's Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has signed a licensing deal worth up to $100 million with Caisson Biotech, aiming to use the company's heparosan-based drug delivery platform to develop new therapies.
The platform is designed to improve a drug's therapeutic effect by boosting stability, enhancing half-life and cutting down immunogenicity, according to Caisson. "Our technology utilizes a naturally occurring sugar polymer that is stable and inert in the bloodstream but is biodegradable inside cells for the purpose of cloaking, enlarging and/or protecting drug cargo," Caisson Chief Scientific Officer Paul DeAngelis said in a release. The tech allows developers to customize polymer size and chemistry, providing for versatile drug delivery applications, he added.
Novo is banking on just that, and the deal includes an undisclosed upfront payment to Caisson, followed by milestones as products using the platform reach certain clinical, regulatory and commercial goals.
The news comes after a whirlwind few days for the Danish drugmaker, which recently discussed its hopes for two potential blockbuster hemophilia drugs--Vatreptacog and N8-GP--that the company believes can compensate for the declining sales of NovoSeven. Furthermore, Novo announced a sales boost of 10% in the first quarter, and it plans to expand its U.S. workforce by 15% this year.
- read the companies' release
- get FierceBiotech's take
- here's more on Novo's expansion