Biocon in hybrid drug development pact with Amylin

Bangalore-based Biocon has entered into an exclusive agreement with Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc to jointly develop, commercialise and manufacture a novel peptide therapeutic for the potential treatment of diabetes.

Amylin and Biocon will jointly develop the therapeutic potential of the compound and share development costs. Research will centre on Amylin's "phybrid" technology. A phybrid is a peptide hybrid molecule that combines the pharmacological effects of two peptide hormones into a single molecular entity.

San Diego-headquartered biopharmaceutical maker Amylin has developed and gained approval for two first-in-class medicines for diabetes, Symlin (pramlintide acetate) injection and Byetta (exenatide) injection. Its  R&D activities leverage the company's expertise in metabolism to develop potential therapies to treat diabetes and obesity.

One of India's premier biotechnology companies, Biocon has a strong focus in diabetes having launched the world's first recombinant human insulin, Insugen using a pichia based expression system in 2004 and recombinant glargine, Basaslog, in 2009.

Under the terms of the development and commercialization agreement, Amylin will provide expertise in peptide hormone development, particularly in the area of phybrid technology, as well as metabolic disease therapeutics. Biocon will utilize its expertise in recombinant microbial expression to manufacture the compound and also leverage its experience in pre-clinical and clinical development of diabetes products.

"This agreement fully leverages the synergistic capabilities of the two companies," said Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director, Biocon, Ltd. "Amylin's knowledge of peptide therapeutics and their leadership in the diabetes market, paired with Biocon's capabilities in process development, manufacturing and clinical development, provides this global program with the potential to effectively bring a novel therapy to patients living with diabetes."

"This programme could unleash the potential of cutting-edge peptide science to transform the lives of patients with diabetes," said Daniel M. Bradbury, president and CEO, Amylin Pharmaceuticals. "We are pleased to work with Biocon, a biologics innovator and world-class manufacturing expert, and look forward to collaborating with them on this exciting programme."