Enhanze technology is based on recombinant human hyaluronidase (rHuPH20) enzyme that temporarily degrades hyaluronan, a chain of natural sugars in the body, which aids in the dispersion and absorption of injected therapeutic drugs.
Halozyme states that this drug-delivery technology may allow for more efficient absorption through subcutaneous administration, and reduce the need for multiple injections.
Roche and Halozyme have been collaborating and engaged in licensing agreements for the Enhanze technology since 2006. Using Enhanze, Roche developed multiple drugs including Rituxan (rituximab) in the US, and is awaiting approval on other therapies.
Per the agreement, Halozyme will receive $25m (€22m) upfront from Roche with potential for additional payments up to $160m to $165m per target based upon achievement of development, regulatory, and sales-based milestones. Roche has the option to select two additional targets to be nominated within four years.
Halozyme will receive a nomination fee for two additional new target nominations, and royalties on sales of commercialized products.
Concentrating on partnerships
In 2010, Halozyme cut its workforce by 25% to focus on strategic alliances and developments, including the licensing of its technology on external projects.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has also collaborated with Halozyme, in 2017, to develop 11 immuno-oncology drugs for subcutaneous administration using Enhanze technology.
According to a spokesperson for the company, Halozyme has licensed the technology to eight leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including Baxalta (now part of Shire), Pfizer, Janssen, AbbVie, Eli Lilly and Alexion. It has been used in the development of 53 potential drug targets in total.