Last month, Danish biotech supplier Novozymes launched its recombinant albumin business as a wholly owned subsidiary called Albumedix.
The new entity has already signalled its growth intentions through the acquisition of Eleven Biotherapeutics’ half-life extension assets, and now the firm has inked a deal to bolster its albumin bioconjugation tech through an exclusive agreement with University College London (UCL) spin-out company Thiologics.
The deal will see Albumedix combine its albumin-based drug delivery technology Veltis with Thologics’ site-specific Next Generation Maleimide (NGM) chemistry platform in what Albumedix Business Development Director Dave Mead said would enhance the stability and delivery capabilities of albumin-conjugated candidates.
“The generation of a drug in combination with our albumin-based drug delivery technology opens for a number of improvements; from increased half-life and solubility to improved targeting and lowered toxicity,” he told Biopharma-Reporter.com. “But to get to that point the drug will have to be bound to albumin.”
Traditional binding methods are flawed due to the specific chemical environment of albumin which means about half of the product is lost during specific process steps.
“Thiologics' chemistry retains all the advantages of the conventional technology with the added advantage of allowing for the process step in question to proceed without any loss of product. This effectively increases the final yield.”
Albumedix’ half-life extension technology is already clinically validated and has been commercially validated through GSK’s once weekly diabetes drug Tanzeum (albiglutide), but Mead said this deal would support demand for the firm’s second generation Veltis drug delivery technology from biopharma companies assessing a variety of different drug types.
“The strong market drive for albumin-based drug delivery is likely to be a combination of the several benefits it provides, not only to the drug developers, but doctors and patients too, such as unmatched prolongation of drug half-life, flexibility in design of drug half-life, safety, as well as long patent protection and predictable and scalable manufacture,” he said.
He added the deal would also push Albumedix’s offering above the “plethora of conjugation chemistries with varying capabilities” available to drugmakers.
“Our collaboration has allowed us to build a strong knowledge base for the use of Thiologics' chemistry in conjunction with albumin. We are therefore able to support clients much further in their development than companies that only supply chemistry or drug carrier moieties.”