Thursday, December 4, 2014

Drug Delivery Trends of 2014

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Current Partnering is a media partner for the upcoming Drug Delivery Partnerships conference taking place in Boca Raton, FL this Jan 28-30. For more information about the event, click here.

Raveena Bhambra
December 2014

Drug Delivery in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology remains to be an important and attractive area. With so many different delivery methods available to administer drugs, the opportunities for new technologies are plentiful and drug delivery companies globally are making deals to utilize or develop these technologies further.

Many of the areas within the body are difficult to reach and therefore treat e.g. Inside the inner ear, so there remains a lot of scope for new drug delivery inventions and as different aged patients prefer to administer medications in different ways eg. old and young, this also provides a lot of room for innovation.

Drug delivery innovations can also be modified so that they are applicable to different types of medications so this results in higher numbers of deals being made in the drug delivery arena from companies who have taken on a taken technology and used or modified it using their expertise.

In general drug delivery partnering has been very healthy, although there was a dip in deals during 2011 the figure before and after then has been very high. Last year 414 deals were recorded which was a high value compared with the previous two years.

Figure 1: Recent deals (Jan 2009 to present) - By date

 Source: CurrentAgreements, 2014

Drug delivery is complex and many different administration methods have been devised to target and apply different medications, all of which we capture in our deals database and dealmaking reports. Delivery methods are often dependent on the nature and stability of the medication being administered so the right method must to be combined with the right treatment.

Drug delivery technology is broken down into these more specific areas in our research -

• Drug delivery
     o Bioavailability
     o Implantable
     o Oral delivery
          • Rapid release
          • Delayed release
     o Parenteral
          • Infusion
          • Injectable
     o Pro-drug
     o Targeted
     o Topical
     o Transdermal
     o Transmucosal
          • Buccal
          • Inhaled
          • Nasal
          • Ocular
          • Rectal
          • Sublingual
          • Urogenital

This thorough break down and thus categorization helps to easily identify the companies involved in a specific drug delivery technology and to spot the most popular area of partnering.

The figure below looks specifically at all these different types of drug delivery and illustrates which is the most popular when it comes to partnering. It seems topical partnering is the most active area, followed closely by injectable. Topical is perhaps the most straight forward and easiest method of application, however some therapies need to be inserted direct into the bloodstream of the system to have an effect, so this is explains why the next popular types are transdermal and oral delivery, two methods which ensure that the treatment reaches inside the system and past the outer layers of the skin.

Figure 2: Recent deals (Jan 2009 to present) - By technology type
Source: CurrentAgreements, 2014

In many other areas of partnering our analysts have noticed that many of the deals have been conducted at the early stages of development, however when it comes to drug delivery most of the deals are signed at the marketed stage. Almost 600 deals were signed at this stage highlighting the fact that companies are possibly using drug delivery technologies that are already available to incorporate into their new innovative medications.

Figure 3: Recent deals (Jan 2009 to present) - By stage of development
Source: CurrentAgreements, 2014

As drug delivery technology is so broad it is also interesting to look at the most popular types of therapy areas it is targeted towards. From the graph below it can be seen that drug delivery applications in oncology treatments are the most common. Central Nervous System diseases are the next to employ many drug delivery technologies in recent deals. The third most popular therapy area for deal making was interestingly dermatology and this is quite probably because many topically applied medications are indicated for skin disorders, so it’s only natural for these two combinations to go hand in hand.

Figure 4: Recent deals (Jan 2009 to present) - By therapy area
Source: CurrentAgreements, 2014

In addition to therapy and development stage of the deals, Drug delivery deal financials also make an interesting read. As expected, drug delivery deal headline values tend to increase with stage of development at deal signing, as is the case with upfront payments at deal signing. The effect on royalty rate agreed based on stage of development at deal signing also makes interesting reading.
Of course, if any of these data points are to make sense there is a need to view each deal on its merits and any contract document in the public domain. The report outlined below provides this data, enabling the reader to determine in detail how drug delivery deals are structured.

A recent example drug delivery partnering deal

Collaboration and licensing agreement for lipid nanoparticle delivery technology for use in hyperoxaluria type 1 development program

Nov 18th 2014

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals announced a licensing and collaboration agreement with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals. Tekmira will license its proprietary lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology for exclusive use in the primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1) development program undertaken by Dicerna.

The deal will see Dicerna pay Tekmira $2.5million upfront and aggregate development milestone payments of $22million plus a mid-single-digit royalty on future PH1 sales.

Conferring to the new style of partnering, where a few deals are merged into one this deal will also include a supply agreement where Tekmira will provide clinical drug supply and regulatory support in the rapid advancement of the product candidate.

Tekmira’s third generation technology will be used by Dicerna to deliver its Dicer substrate RNA (DsiRNA) molecule DCR-PH1 for the treatment of PH1 which is an inherited liver disorder that often leads to kidney failure and for which there are currently no therapies available.

The agreement came about after positive results were demonstrated in animal models where the technology and DCR-PH1 was tested.

A full deal record can be viewed here

The above is abstracted from a recent report from Current Partnering ( called Drug Delivery Partnering Terms and Agreements that provides a comprehensive overview of deal making in the drug delivery technology sector.

The report provides a detailed understanding and analysis of how and why companies enter drug delivery partnering deals. The majority of deals are discovery or development stage whereby the licensee obtains a right or an option right to license the licensors drug delivery technology. These deals tend to be multicomponent, starting with collaborative R&D, and commercialization of outcomes.

This report contains over 2,000 links to online copies of actual drug delivery deals and contract documents as submitted to the Securities Exchange Commission by companies and their partners. Contract documents provide the answers to numerous questions about a prospective partner’s flexibility on a wide range of important issues, many of which will have a significant impact on each party’s ability to derive value from the deal.


The above information has been abstracted from the following resources:
Drug Delivery Partnering Terms and Agreements report 
Drug Delivery Deals and Alliances of 2013 
Current Agreements life sciences partnering, M&A and financing deals database

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