Ferring bags PhIII assets to beef up orthopedic pipeline

Ferring Pharmaceuticals has snapped up the assets of BioSurface Engineering Technologies (BioSET) to add a pair of Phase III-ready orthopedic candidates to its pipeline. Both treatments are designed to improve bone repair.

Ferring COO Michel Pettigrew

Saint-Prex, Switzerland-based Ferring has made orthopedics one of the 5 therapeutic pillars of its business, but its pipeline and portfolio of approved drugs are dwarfed by those of some of the four other units. The BioSET deal goes some way to correcting this imbalance. For an undisclosed sum, Ferring has picked up a library of biomimetic peptides with applications in bone and tissue repair, the standout examples from which are Amplex and Prefix.

Amplex is a combination of a peptide that targets the pathway for BMP2--a protein that triggers bone and cartilage formation--and ceramic granules. Ferring sees the assets boosting its existing orthopedic business, which is based on knee pain drug Euflexxa. "By developing new orthobiologic products for joint fusion, we will expand and diversify our offering to include innovative solutions for orthopaedic surgery," Ferring COO Michel Pettigrew said in a statement.

BioSET spun out with the assets and set up shop in Rockville, MD, as part of of U.S. Surgical's buyout of InnerDyne in 2000. PTV Sciences led an $11 million financing round in 2007, after which BioSET started Phase I/II trials to assess the effectiveness of Amplex and Prefix in patients undergoing fusion surgery of the foot, ankle and spine. It is three years since BioSET updated ClinicalTrials.gov about the studies--which were due to wrap up in 2012--but Ferring thinks the assets are ready for the next step.

- read the release

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