QLT & Retinagenix pool resources

June 1, 2006

QLT has formed a global co-development and licensing agreement with Retinagenix to develop active synthetic treatments for degenerative retinal diseases.

QLT & Retinagenix pool resources

QLT has formed a global co-development and licensing agreement with Retinagenix to develop active synthetic treatments for degenerative retinal diseases.

The deal dictates that QLT will be responsible for the development and commercialization of resultant products while Retinagenix will play an active role in research and will be eligible for an upfront payment of

Synthetic retinoid drugs are being developed to restore vision in patients with retinal degeneration and in aging retinas. The results of Retinagenix' preclinical studies have thus far demonstrated long lasting restoration of retinal function.

QLT specializes in developing treatments for eye diseases and dermatological and urological conditions. Retinagenix is a privately held company that develops and commercializes synthetic retinoids.

The two companies hope to progress their first collaborative drug into the clinic within 18 months.

Asian inspiration

Inspire Pharmaceuticals has received a milestone payment of $1.25 million following the completion of Japan based, Santen Pharmaceuticals Phase II clinical testing of diquafosol. Inspire entered into a development, license and supply agreement with Santen in 1998 for the development of the therapeutic treatment, diquafosol tetrasodium ophthalmic solution for treatment of ocular surface diseases including dry eye, in Japan and nine other Asian countries.

Under the agreement, Inspire could be set to receive additional milestone payments and, if approval is received for the product, the company will receive royalties on net sales.

Two giants unite

An agreement, encompassing multiple biological targets and disease areas within the field of ophthalmology, has been made between Alcon and the world's leading biotechnology company, Amgen.

The multi-target collaboration will research, develop and commercialize therapeutics for the treatment and management of a whole host of eye diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will provide existing and future molecules for potential ophthalmic use and will retain the option to co-promote the agents, should marketing authorization be granted. Amgen will also have sole rights to any product ensuing from the collaboration for all non-ophthalmic uses. Meanwhile, Alcon will largely be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of selected molecule candidates.

Novagali: on with the show

French biopharmaceutical company, Novagali Pharma has announced that it has secured €26 million in financing from both existing and new investors allowing it to continue its ophthalmic product development programmes.

Novagali has developed a patented drug delivery system, Novasorb, based on cationic emulsions, which improves the absorption of lipophilic drugs and the company is currently preparing the registration in Europe and the US for its dry eye treatment, Cantionorm, based on this system. In addition it has a number of other treatments in the pipeline which it is keen to progress.

The new funds available to Novagali allow it to continue the financing of its trials for the development of its product portfolio.