Hovione's drug delivery tech lands eye disease licensing deal

Hovione’s drug delivery strategy has delivered a win, with Ji Xing Pharmaceuticals picking up the global license for the preclinical eye disease program JX08.

Product development at Hovione is focused on two areas: The use of drug delivery platforms to improve or reposition existing molecules and the development of generic dry-powder inhalers. The strategy has spawned JX08, a preclinical ophthalmology prospect Shanghai-based Ji Xing has bagged in a global license agreement. 

“Today’s agreement further strengthens Ji Xing’s ophthalmology pipeline beyond its current focus on presbyopia and dry eye disease,” Peter Fong, board executive director at Ji Xing, said in a statement. Hovione said the deal further enhances its leadership position in spray-dried dispersions.

JX08 slots into a pipeline that features Tyrvaya, the dry eye disease nasal spray that the FDA approved last year, and another prospect Ji Xing picked up in its deal with Oyster Point Pharma. The latest deal gives Ji Xing the global rights to JX08, positioning it to lead development from preclinical through commercialization.

That marks a shift for Ji Xing, which has made its name by picking up regional rights to more advanced drugs such as Tyrvaya and Cytokinetics’ omecamtiv mecarbil. Fong set out the significance of the shift in Ji Xing’s strategy.

“This agreement marks a significant step for the company as it highlights its development from a China-focused, late clinical-stage biotech to an innovation pioneer with full life cycle development capabilities to reach customers and patients globally,” Fong said.