TFS takes the plunge on a risk-sharing deal for a Parkinson's drug

Swedish CRO TFS is working with local biotech LobSor Pharmaceuticals on a new treatment for Parkison's disease, agreeing to share the risks and potential rewards of the development process.

The two are collaborating on LECIGel, a formulation of the common Parkinson's treatments levodopa, carbidopa and entacapone that can be continuously administered in the intestines through a pump, according to LobSor. The pair have now advanced the product into clinical trials, recruiting 15 Parkinson's patients with data expected in September.

Under the partnership, TFS is on board to handle the regulatory strategy and development planning for the gel as the two work toward a European submission, which the CRO expects to have ready by year's end.

The risk-sharing model has become more and more popular in recent years, as CROs like Evotec, Ergomed and Avillion have all embraced arrangements in which contractors trade their services for a cut of a product's eventual revenue.

For TFS, such agreements aren't part of its core business, "but we would not shy away if we think the science, the regulatory pathway and the literature would support a high probability of success," CEO Daniel Spasic said in a statement. And that was just the case with LobSor, he said.

TFS has been building its global capacity through a string of buyouts, most recently acquiring U.S. CRO Beardsworth Consulting Group, Italian outfit Dimensione Ricerca and the electronic data capture business of Semcon.

- read the statement