Merck KGaA extends smart drug delivery pact with Biocorp

Merck KGaA has extended its collaboration with Biocorp. The German drugmaker has signed up to work with Biocorp to develop a version of a Bluetooth enabled clip-on device that is specific to one of its drug delivery devices. 

Biocorp has built a roster of Big Pharma partners, including Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, on the strength of the clip-on device. Attached to pen injectors, the connected device collects data on the dose and time of each injection and transfers the information in real time to a piece of companion software. The device has caught the attention of manufacturers of prefilled insulin injectors.

Last year, Biocorp began working with Merck to apply the Mallya technology to the delivery of human growth hormone. The deal disclosed this week extends the original collaboration and puts Biocorp in line for a series of paydays.

Merck will provide up to 5 million euros ($5 million) over three years to support the development of the device. Once the product comes to market, Biocorp estimates the product could generate €8 million over five years, depending on the level of adoption and whether the launch hits its commercial milestones.  

The potential significance of the deal for Biocorp extends beyond the money. As Biocorp CEO Eric Dessertenne explained, the deal extends the collaboration to “additional therapeutic areas” and thereby furthers the company’s expansion beyond diabetes. 

“We had already announced that there is a great opportunity for our connected device Mallya in various therapeutic areas. As in diabetes, Mallya aims to reduce patients' stress and improve compliance with their treatments to optimize and secure the results,” Dessertenne said in a statement.