Teva-partnered MedinCell bags $42M loan for long-acting injectable R&D

MedinCell has secured a €40 million ($42 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), positioning the Teva-partnered pharma company to develop therapies based on its long-acting injectable drug delivery technology.

France-based MedinCell has put itself on the map through its work with Teva on a long-acting injectable formulation of the antipsychotic medicine risperidone. The candidate, mdc-IRM, uses MedinCell’s BEPO technology to formulate risperidone so it creates a depot upon administration. As the depot breaks up, the drug is slowly released to provide long-acting effects. 

Teva had aimed to be selling the subcutaneous schizophrenia therapy in the U.S. by this time but the FDA hit it with a complete response letter in April. The program now looks to be back on track, with Teva refiling for approval this month and aiming to launch the drug in the first half of next year.

Part of MedinCell’s loan is tied to approval of the risperidone therapy. The EIB will make €30 million available in the fourth quarter but MedinCell will only gain access to the remaining €10 million after the FDA approves the first product based on its technology. MedinCell expects the additional cash to extend its financial runway out to at least the first quarter of 2024. 

The funding window covers a period in which MedinCell’s technology will advance on multiple fronts. If everything goes to plan, the risperidone formulation should come to market during that time. Teva has also committed to running a phase 3 clinical trial of a long-acting formulation of a second antipsychotic, olanzapine.

Arthritis Innovation Corporation recently moved a third candidate based on MedinCell’s technology, a formulation of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib, into a phase 3 trial that is assessing the effect of administering the drug at the end of total knee replacement surgery.