Three month old Belrose bought Enzon Pharmaceutical’s PEGylation linker platform this week along with a cancer drug candidate –PEG-SN38 – and a preclinical PEG-C1 esterase Inhibitor - EZN-3008 - that shows promise as a therapy for hereditary angioedema (HAE).
The pegylation platform is used to add polyethylene glycol (PEG) to drug molecules, thereby modifying their physical characteristics and making them easier to deliver according to Belrose CEO Eric Gilbert who told in-Pharmatechnologist.com about the deal.
“We were attracted to the Enzon…assets because they had a commercially proven product history, potentially valuable remaining intellectual property, several active customer relationships and discussions, and an experienced scientific team, some of whom were likely to become available to potentially enhance the Belrose product development team.”
As with other modification platforms, the Enzon technology can be used to permanently bind PEG to drug molecules. It can also add PEG in a way that allows it to be released, which offers improved loading, better pharmacokinetic and permits targeted release.
But despite these potential benefits, releasable PEGylation has yet to be fully embraced by the drug industry according to Gilbert who plans to leverage the Enzon technology to expand the market.
“We believe that Belrose can reposition and accelerate use of its category-leading Releasable PEGylation technology, and as such, it represents further upside to Belrose beyond the also-acquired and more established Permanent PEGylation assets.”
So, in addition to continuing the development of the two drug candidates, Belrose will offer the Enzon tech and knowhow it acquired along with it to pharmaceutical companies pegylation – both permanent and releasable – as a contract service.
“Belrose expects this detailed PEGylation development database to have significant value to establishing new customer relationships.
“With this acquisition, Belrose will be able to offer a comprehensive range of options for all types of molecules, and to deploy advanced technologies to address specific product needs.”