San Diego's Halozyme Lands Potential $680M R&D Deal With Alexion

Published: Dec 07, 2017 By

Deal

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. tied up a licensing agreement with Connecticut-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals that could net the company $680 million.

Alexion will use Halozyme’s ENHANZE drug-delivery technology to develop subcutaneous formulations for that company’s portfolio of products. Alexion said it will have the opportunity to develop up to four targets, including a next generation subcutaneous formulation of ALXN1210, the company’s investigational long-acting C5 complement inhibitor. The new formula has the potential to potentially extend the dosing interval of ALXN1210 SC to once every two weeks or once per month, the company said.

 “Alexion’s goal is to provide continued innovation and more treatment options that can significantly improve the lives of patients with rare diseases,” John Orloff, Alexion’s head of research and development, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with Halozyme and look forward to utilizing its ENHANZE technology, which enables rapid injection of subcutaneous treatments and potentially increases bioavailablity, in our development programs.”

Halozyme’s ENHANZE technology is based on its recombinant human hyaluronidase enzyme (rHuPH20). The enzyme has been shown to remove traditional limitations on the volume of biologics that can be delivered subcutaneously, according to company data.

Halozyme Chief Executive Officer Helen Torley said the company is “delighted” Alexion will use its ENHANZE technology to develop treatments. She said ENHANZE has “become the industry standard for converting intravenous therapies to a subcutaneous delivery.” It has helped health care providers reduce the treatment burden and administration time for patients, she added.

Under the terms of the agreement, Halozyme will receive an initial $40 million with the potential to earn additional payments of up to $160 million for each target developed, subject to achievement of specified development, regulatory and sales-based milestones. Halozyme will also receive mid-single digit royalties on sales of commercialized products.

The deal with Alexion marks the eighth licensing deal Halozyme has struck for its ENHANZE technology. The partnerships cover nearly 50 therapeutic targets and include three commercialized products.

In October, Halozyme’s partner Janssen Pharmaceuticals initiated the first of three planned Phase III trials evaluating a subcutaneous delivery of Darzalex (daratumumab) using the ENHANZE technology. The subcutaneous formulation of daratumumab has an estimated administration time of approximately 5 minutes compared to the multi-hour intravenous infusion, Halozyme reported in October.

In September, the company struck a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb to use the ENHANZE technology to develop a new way to deliver immuno-oncology drugs. With all the immuno-oncology targets, BMS has selected the deal that has the potential to earn Halozyme more than $1.8 billion.

At the same time as the BMS deal, Halozyme also struck a licensing deal with Roche for exclusive development of an unannounced therapeutic target. Combined, the two deals have the potential of bringing Halozyme more than $2 billion.

Shares of Halozyme are up more than 2.5 percent this morning, trading at $18.61 as of 10:33 a.m.

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