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J&J unit licenses Depomed drug delivery technology

By Nick Taylor , 09-Aug-2010

A Johnson & Johnson (J&J) unit has licensed a gastric retentive drug delivery technology from Depomed for use in a combination therapy.

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, a unit of J&J, has paid $5m upfront for the worldwide rights to the Acuform delivery technology for the non-exclusive development of a combination therapy.

The product is a fixed dose combination formulation of canagliflozin, a sodium glucose transport 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, and extended-release metformin. Janssen also has the access to the Glumetza (Metformin Hcl) new drug application and associated data to support development.

In addition to the $5m upfront license fee, Depomed will also receive reimbursement for performing formulation work and a further $5m once this is completed. Janssen will have commercialisation rights with Depomed eligible for an additional milestone and royalties.

Carl Pelzel, president and CEO of Depomed, said: “We are excited that we have been able to close our third licensing deal with a big pharma partner within the last two years.

We believe that an expansion in use of our technology in the diabetes field will also further improve adoption of our proprietary, single-agent, extended-release metformin product Glumetza among patients and physicians.”


The Acuform technology enables targeted delivery to the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, a good absorption site for many oral drugs. Acuform targets the region by using swelling polymers that allow the tablet to stay in the upper GI tract for eight to nine hours.

During this period the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is released at the desired rate. Targeting the upper GI tract, and minimising the amount of API the passes through to the lower GI, improves the efficiency of the treatment.

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