The collaboration will see BMS develop up to 11 immuno-oncology drugs for subcutaneous administration using Halozyme’s ENHANZE technology platform.
The platform aims to aid rapid delivery of large volumes of biopharmaceuticals traditionally delivered intravenously using the recombinant human hyaluronidase enzyme (rHuPH20) to temporarily degrade hyaluronan – a glycosaminoglycan or chain of natural sugars in the body – increasing dispersion and absorption of the API.
“Through this collaboration we are excited to explore the potential for ENHANZE to expand the number of cancer patients who may receive their therapies as a rapidly administered subcutaneous injection,” Halozyme CEO Helen Torley said in a statement.
The San Diego-based firm will receive an initial payment of $105m (€88m) from BMS for access to the tech, and potentially up to $160m for each target, based on certain milestones. With a maximum of 11 targets being developed in this partnership, Halozyme could be on the receiving end of close to $2bn.
In 2010, Halozyme scaled back its in-house discovery and preclinical research efforts to concentrate on its ENHANZE partnerships, including deals with Roche and Baxter (now part of Shire).
And speaking last week at the 2017 Wells Fargo Healthcare Conference, Torley said her firm is rapidly growing its revenues as a result of royalties received from a number of approved products.
“It's our expectation that ENHANZE will become the go through technology for taking IV products subcu and that really is going to result in a sustainable and fast growing royalty business coming from that side of the pillar.”