LONDON - CeNeS Pharmaceuticals plc and Bioglan Pharma plc concluded a major expansion of their collaboration on pain control and drug delivery, with Bioglan investing a further #9 million (US$14.2 million) in CeNeS, taking its holding to over 9 percent.

Under the deal, Bioglan will get marketing rights to CeNeS' 24-hour sustained-release morphine, Moraxen, everywhere in Europe apart from the UK and Ireland, and exclusive rights to use CeNeS' DepoCore drug delivery system in the development and marketing of selected compounds. DepoCore is a biodegradable microparticle system.

In return CeNeS, based in Cambridge, will get marketing rights in Southeast Asia for an opioid analgesic currently under development by Bioglan, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire. The initial agreement between the companies, announced in January, gave CeNeS marketing rights to this product in Europe.

In addition, CeNeS will get access to one of Bioglan's drug delivery technologies for the development of a selected compound.

CeNeS also announced an extension of its licenses with the technology transfer company BTG plc, of London, for the hydrogel technology that is the basis of Moraxen. BTG is to invest #1.02 million now and #1 million in December 2002, in CeNeS shares. CeNeS will then hand the #2 million back to BTG as the fee for extending the license. BTG will make a further equity investment of #2 million in two tranches, if CeNeS achieves certain milestones. Again, this money then will be paid back to BTG.

The extension gives CeNeS worldwide rights to apply hydrogel technology to any molecule apart from prostaglandins and oromucosal products. BTG has waived its right to future milestone and royalty payments on the technology.

Martyn Collett, CeNeS commercial director, told BioWorld International, "This gives us the opportunity to use the technology to formulate products for third parties." CeNeS recently has completed a manufacturing and processing plant in Irvine, Scotland, for processing hydrogel-based formulations.

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