Unilife confirms focus on wearables delivery tech for biologics

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags U.s. securities and exchange commission

Unilife has confirmed its intention to wind down its prefilled syringe business and focus on wearable technologies used to deliver biopharmaceuticals.

The US delivery technology firm discussed its strategy during a call last night.

Interim CEO John Ryan said: “We have assessed our market opportunity and we believe that our brightest future is as a company focused on wearable injector technology.

We are working thoughtfully and prudently to wind down our prefilled syringe contracts in a way design to minimize expense and maximize the value of the intellectual property​.”

Ryan cited Unilife’s deals with Amgen, MedImmune and Sanofi as examples of its existing wearables-focused agreements.

CCO Mike Ratigan was also upbeat about demand for wearables, arguing that drug firms “want to use a single preferred device partner that can supply a platform-based technology which can address the specific needs of each target drug or indication​.”

He added that device firms have the chance of signing long-term agreements, and went on to suggest that industry partnering practices will also present opportunities.

With many biological molecules being developed and marketed under joint collaboration with two pharmaceutical companies, significant opportunities exist to leverage existing relationships to grow the base of customers and programs overtime​.”


The decision marks the end of a period of change at Unilife.

In March, the firm reorganised its business into two units: a wearable and auto-injectors division; and a prefilled syringe unit.

March also saw then CEO Alan Shortall and COO Ramin Mojdeh step down. In subsequent months​ both were investigated in connection with “violations of the Company’s policies and procedures and possible violations of law and regulation​.”

According to a Unilife Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing last week the Investigation was completed on October 7.

Ryan acknowledged this in the conference call, commenting that: “We are pleased to have the internal investigation and related delay in our securities filings behind us and our filings with the SEC are now up to date​.”


Unilife reported revenue and deferred revenue for fiscal Q4 and the full year of $6.3m and $49.2m, up 80% and 11% respectively. The firm said the growth was primarily a result of the agreement with Amgen​.

R&D spending for the fiscal year was $43.2m, down from $52.5m in fiscal 2015.  

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