BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - BioAlliance Pharma SA has retained the services of two firms, one in Europe and one in the U.S., to help it seek business partners and licensing opportunities.

One is BioScience Managers Ltd., which is based in London, and the other is Medical Synergy SA, of San Diego. BioAlliance's vice-president of business development, Richard Keatinge, has left the company.

Paris-based BioAlliance said that its "business development priorities in Europe are focused on negotiating an in-licensing agreement and a partnership for the marketing of Loramyc," its 50-mg formulation of miconazole as a once-a-day, bioadhesive, buccal tablet for oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC), which was filed for marketing in Europe in September. BioScience Managers' goal will be to help BioAlliance achieve those objectives.

Medical Synergy has been given the task of finding an industrial partner for BioAlliance in the U.S. and also of looking for licensing opportunities.

The firm was founded by Emile Loria, former president and chief business development officer of IDM Pharma, of San Diego.

BioAlliance in May announced the creation of a wholly owned sales and marketing subsidiary called Laboratoires BioAlliance Pharma SAS to prepare for the launch of Loramyc. It expects the product to be approved before the end of this year and plans to launch it in France in early 2007, followed by a roll-out in other European countries as approvals are obtained under the mutual recognition procedure.

"While we are planning to launch our lead product, Loramyc, in the first quarter of 2007, we also want to push ahead with the development and marketing of our portfolio of current and future products," explained BioAlliance's CEO, Dominique Costantini. "Our new partners will look for partnership and in- and out-licensing opportunities."

Meanwhile, following the investigational new drug application it filed with the FDA, which was approved in September, BioAlliance has embarked on a pivotal Phase III trial of Loramyc in the U.S.

"The launch of this Phase III trial clearly signals our plans to develop the North American market," Costantini said, adding that "it will allow us to conclude a marketing partnership deal for this region." BioAlliance hopes Loramyc will be filed in the U.S. in early 2008 and be approved before the end of that year.

OPC is an oral fungus commonly found in immuno-compromised patients suffering from diseases such as cancer, HIV and diabetes.

BioAlliance already has carried out two Phase III trials of Loramyc in Europe, one on patients with cancer of the head and neck who had undergone radiotherapy, and one on HIV-positive patients.

The U.S. trial also will test Loramyc in HIV-positive patients suffering from OPC.

Loramyc incorporates BioAlliance's Lauriad adhesive technology, designed to give early and prolonged release of therapeutic agents at the site of the disease. It is one of two proprietary drug delivery systems developed by the company, the other being its TransDrug nanoparticle technology for intracellular targeting.

Last December, BioAlliance Pharma completed an initial public offering on Eurolist Compartment C of the Euronext stock exchange in Paris, raising gross proceeds of some €30 million (US$38.6 million).