Roche's Chugai pays Halozyme $25M to access subcutaneous delivery tech

Chugai Pharmaceutical has struck a deal for a subcutaneous drug delivery technology, paying Halozyme Therapeutics $25 million upfront to use its Enhanze enzyme against an undisclosed target.

The deal sees Roche subsidiary Chugai make the upfront payment and commit up to $160 million in development, regulatory and sales-based milestones, plus royalties, to secure the right to explore the use of the recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 enzyme technology with one of its drug candidates. Chugai is yet to share details of how it plans to use the Enhanze technology.

Halozyme pitches Enhanze as a way to overcome the limitations on the volume of biologics that can be administered just under the skin, thereby enabling more drug developers to switch from intravenous to subcutaneous delivery. 

That pitch has resonated with drug developers. Chugai is Halozyme’s twelfth global collaboration and license partner for the Enhanze technology. Collectively, those deals cover the use of the technology with more than 60 therapeutic targets. Five commercialized products, including Johnson & Johnson’s Darzalex Faspro, use the technology. 

“Our twelfth collaboration demonstrates the continued strong interest in providing patients with the option to receive treatment through a subcutaneous injection. This new collaboration further expands the number of Wave 5 potential launch programs, which we project will extend the revenue duration of our Enhanze franchise,” Halozyme CEO Helen Torley said in a statement. 

News of the deal comes shortly after another Halozyme partner, Argenx, reported positive phase 3 data on a subcutaneous formulation developed using Enhanze. Argenx plans to file for FDA approval by the end of the year.