Halozyme adds AbbVie to its roster of Big Pharma R&D collaborators

Halozyme Therapeutics ($HALO) has a new Big Pharma collaboration to boast about.

The San Diego-based company's fortunes are based on its Enhanze tech platform, which essentially offers to take large molecules that would normally have to be delivered intravenously and make them available under the skin in a subcutaneous jab. And now AbbVie ($ABBV) is jumping aboard, paying $23 million in an upfront and up to $130 million in milestones on each of up to 9 programs.

Altogether the back-end potential payoff amounts to $1.17 billion.

Enhanze relies on an enzyme (rHuPH20) that can temporarily degrade a chain of natural sugars in the body called hyaluronan, prepping the body for easier drug absorption and opening the door to an easier delivery approach for drugs. Simpler delivery can offer a key commercial advantage for companies.

As Halozyme CEO Helen Torley notes in a statement, this is the latest in a string of big delivery collaborations. Halozyme is also partnered with Roche ($RHHBY), Pfizer ($PFE), J&J ($JNJ) and Baxter ($BAX).

- here's the release