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S-A acquires rights to diabetes technology

Sanofi-aventis has acquired the global rights to a diabetes drug-delivery technology from Ascendis Pharma

Sanofi-aventis (S-A) has acquired the global rights to a diabetes drug-delivery technology from Ascendis Pharma.

S-A will receive a worldwide licence to develop, manufacture and commercialise products that use Ascendis' TransCon Linker and Hydrogel carrier technology to develop treatments for diabetes and related disorders.

In return, Ascendis will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, as well as potential development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

The technology uses TransCon Linker families – structures with self-cleaving properties – which enable drug release in the body to be independent of enzyme activity and tissue condition.

These structures can form transient bonds with larger molecules such as proteins, including insulin, allowing them to be used as carriers in drug delivery.

This enables drug compounds to be released into the body for precise periods at specified times, creating a more long-acting effect.

"We are excited about this promising technology to create next-generation products in the field of diabetes and related disorders," said Pierre Chancel, senior vice president, head of the Global Diabetes Division, S-A. "Building on our achievements with Lantus, our 24-hour insulin approved for use once a day, we hope to further improve the lives of people with diabetes by developing this innovative technology to offer biologicals that present an extended and controlled release of unmodified parent drugs, including insulin."

This is the second major diabetes related deal made this week following Novo Nordisk's licence agreement with Emisphere Technologies to develop and market oral insulins.

The two companies will use Emisphere's Eligen technology to allow small and large molecule drugs to be taken orally without their chemical form being altered by processes in the body.

21st December 2010

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