BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Nautilus Biotech SA and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals signed a research collaboration and license agreement for the discovery and development of novel recombinant Factor IX proteins for the treatment of hemophilia B.

The two companies aim to produce extended half-life proteins designed to be more patient-friendly because they reduce the number and frequency of administrations. Hemophilia B is an inherited blood clotting disorder caused by deficiency of the Factor IX protein.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, of Collegeville, Pa., is the only company to have a recombinant Factor IX product, BeneFix Coagulation Factor (Recombinant), on the market at present.

Under the agreement, Nautilus Biotech, of Evry, France will apply its proprietary protein engineering technology to extend the duration of action of recombinant hemophilia B therapy, while Wyeth will develop, manufacture and market any successful products arising from the collaboration.

Nautilus Biotech will receive an undisclosed up-front payment and research and development funding, as well as development and regulatory filing and approval milestones and royalties on product sales.

Nautilus Biotech's protein engineering technology is designed to improve the pharmacological profiles of protein drugs, enhancing the stability of drugs and facilitating their administration. It has a pipeline of next-generation therapeutic proteins, including proprietary best-in-class proteins suitable for oral administration. Its lead products are Belerofon, a variant of interferon alpha, and Vitatropin, a variant of human growth hormone.