BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - GlaxoSmithKline plc informed Flamel Technologies SA that an agreement originally formed between Beecham Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd. and Flamel for the sachet formulation of Augmentin will be terminated Jan. 14.

Under the agreement, Flamel was using its Micropump drug delivery technology to develop a powder formulation of Augmentin, an amoxycillin-based antibiotic, for administration to the elderly.

According to the president and CEO of Lyon-based Flamel, the British pharmaceutical company decided to terminate the project "for commercial reasons," adding that "there has been no adverse performance of, or other issues with, our Micropump technology and we continue to actively collaborate with GSK for the development of a once-a-day Coreg formulation."

Coreg (cardevilol) is indicated for certain cardiovascular conditions, such as congestive heart failure.

The financial implications of losing the Augmentin sachet project cannot be quantified, Flamel Financial Director Valérie Danaguezian told BioWorld International, but said the company might negotiate a cancellation fee with London-based GSK. She added that Flamel intended to regain rights to the sachet formulation of Augmentin, which is now off patent, and develop it for a broader market than the elderly.

Micropump is one of two polymer-based drug delivery systems developed by Flamel, the other being Medusa. Micropump is a controlled-release, taste-masking system for the oral administration of small-molecule drugs, while the Medusa nanoparticulate system is designed to deliver therapeutic proteins and peptides.