UK company The Medical House has entered into a deal with Swiss biotechnology firm Serono for a needle-free injector system for the delivery of human growth hormone.
TMH first revealed that it had signed up a partner for the injector in September 2004, but is only now able to reveal the identity of its partner. Serono plans to use the technology to develop a needle-free hGH product that will be a welcome alternative to daily injections for patients taking current formulations of the drug.
The companies have entered into a five year contract - starting with the first commercial supply - which may reach up to £4.3 million (€6.1m) over time. TMH will manufacture and supply a reusable, user filled needle-free injection device currently in deelopment as well as and related consumables.
The state of the art needle-free injector is to be developed by TMH with development costs of £435,000 being contributed by Serono . Worldwide sales of Serono's hGH product, which was first registered in 1988, were more than $240m in 2003.
Meanwhile, TMH has also retained the right to provide the needle-free injector to other pharmaceutical companies for the delivery of other drugs, subject to certain Serono rights of first refusal.
TMH has been developing needle free devices which are already successfully used in the market. Its latest development is the SQ-pen, a spring powered re-useable system, but it also has several distribution agreements in place for the insulin market with its first needle free device, called the mhi-500.