Flamel Technologies SA (NASDAQ: FLML) and Digna Biotech SL today announced that the two companies have entered into a joint development agreement for the pre-clinical and clinical development of multiple products. The agreement has been structured to leverage Digna’s groundbreaking research, preclinical and clinical development efforts, and Flamel’s formulation expertise in creating safer, more efficacious products using its innovative proprietary drug delivery platforms, Medusa® and Micropump®. Flamel will be primarily responsible for the formulation and manufacturing process development and Digna will be primarily responsible for the preclinical and clinical development. The three initial Digna products that have been identified for development under the agreement are P144, P17, and Methylthiadenosine (MTA). All of these molecules have shown significant activity in preclinical studies involving multiple indications with high unmet medical need. Both companies expect that the achievement of clinical proof of concept data under the joint development agreement will result in significant additional value creation for the parties.
P144 (Disitertide) is a Transforming Growth Factor beta-1 (TGF-beta1) inhibitor. A topical formulation of P144 has been studied in a Phase II trial involving the treatment of systemic sclerosis or scleroderma, a multisystem disorder characterized by the excessive synthesis and deposition of extracellular matrix proteins that result in the fibrosis of skin and visceral organs. The data indicated a statistically significant increase in the number of patients that noticed improvements of the treated skin area (p<0.034). P144 has also been successfully evaluated in pre-clinical animal models of organ fibrosis and macular degeneration. A Medusa-enabled formulation of Digna’s P144 for controlled release via subcutaneous injection will be developed by Flamel for initial evaluation by Digna in pulmonary fibrosis.
P17 is another TGF-beta1 inhibitor which has been evaluated in preclinical studies and has shown promising activity for potential application in the treatment of cirrhosis, as well as to prevent angiogenesis and metastasis. A Medusa-enabled formulation of Digna’s P17 for controlled release via subcutaneous injection will be developed by Flamel for evaluation by Digna for the potential treatment of multiple indications. The joint development agreement anticipates that clinical development of one of the two TGF-beta1 inhibitors will be prioritized based on preclinical data from the two formulations.