Hovione Licenses Inhaler Technology for Influenza Drug to Sankyo Company, Ltd. and Biota Holdings Limited

Published: Mar 05, 2007

LOURES, Portugal, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Hovione announced today the signature of an agreement where Sankyo Company Ltd, (Tokyo, Japan) and Biota Holdings Ltd (Melbourne, Australia) have jointly licensed Hovione's dry powder inhaler technology for the delivery of long acting neuraminidase inhibitors (LANI) owned by Sankyo and Biota, which are active against the influenza virus. An improvement over other approved medicines which have to be taken repeatedly, is that this novel compound is expected to remain active for several days and require to be taken once only. Hovione retains all inhaler rights outside the field of influenza.

Under the agreement, Hovione has developed a low-cost disposable inhaler, Twin Caps, specifically for this indication. In addition, Hovione carried out inhaler compatibility studies and comprehensive formulation development to demonstrate that the lead clinical candidate CS-8958 can be delivered by inhalation. Sankyo and Biota are responsible for the clinical development of the drug product, which is expected to start in the near future. CS-8958 has already completed phase I clinical trial in a prototype inhaler.

Peter Villax, Hovione Vice-President said, "This agreement is the confirmation that Hovione is recognized as a reliable partner in inhalation product development. We are the only independent company with expertise in every aspect of inhalation, from chemical development to particle design, from device to formulation development."

Peter Cook, Biota CEO said, "We will now be able to accelerate both the program with Sankyo and marketing this potentially important new product to other licensees. Biota has an impressive pipeline in anti-viral drugs and we expect that inhaled LANIs will offer further effective and convenient first line of defense against the influenza virus."

Hovione is a specialist company in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing and inhaled formulation development. Through its expertise in API processing, Hovione has acquired significant know-how in particle design and engineering. This knowledge has permitted Hovione to offer a unique range of compliant services in API process development, particle design and inhalation formulations. Development services are available through Hovione facilities in Loures, Portugal and in New Jersey, USA.

For further information about Hovione, please visit the Hovione site at www.hovione.com or contact Corporate Communications (Isabel Pina, + 351 21 982 9362, e-mail: hello@hovione.com)


CONTACT: Isabel Pina of Hovione, +351-21-982-9362, or hello@hovione.com

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