Ferring strikes pact to use Foresee controlled-release tech

Ferring offices
Ferring has an option to pick up the resulting asset for upfront and milestone payments.

Ferring Pharmaceuticals has struck a deal with Foresee Pharmaceuticals. The agreement will see Ferring fund development of a long-duration peptide drug based on Foresee’s delivery technology and potentially pick up the resulting asset if it meets expectations.

Foresee has landed the deal on the strength of its stabilized injectable formulation (SIF) platform, a technology the Taiwanese drugmaker developed to enable controlled-release delivery of peptides, small molecules and proteins. Ferring penned a deal to use the technology to create a formulation of an as-yet-unidentified peptide after assessing the progress made by Foresee to date.

“The technical barriers Foresee has overcome in developing stable, formulated peptides in solution for controlled release therapy for three- and six-month durations of action after a single injection are quite significant, and this gives us much confidence in the potential of the SIF platform applied to complex peptide drug substances,” Ferring SVP Alan Harris said in a statement. “We are enthusiastic about this new collaboration.”

If Harris and his colleagues remain enthusiastic about the program once they have a SIF-based candidate to assess, they will option the asset in exchange for additional upfront and milestone payments.

Foresee has designed SIF to support the creation of prefilled syringes that deliver an active ingredient encapsulated in a depot. As the depot matrix is broken down and the drug diffuses out, the level of the therapeutic in the body is increased and maintained. Foresee has four named pipeline prospects that use SIP. The most advanced, FP-001, is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist that is being assessed in a phase 3 prostate cancer trial.

By moving to add a SIP-based program to its own pipeline, Ferring has continued a busy period for its business development team. The pact is the sixth deal struck by the Swiss drugmaker over the past six months and the third it has entered into this year. Ferring started its flurry of 2017 deals by partnering with Intralytix to develop bacteriophage-based treatments before going on to sign up to work with Enteris BioPharma on an oral formulation of a peptide-based injectable.