Biotechnology company Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. said Wednesday it could receive up to $83 million from ViroPharma Inc. under a licensing agreement for the development of an injectable version of the drug Cinryze, which aims to prevent the genetic disease hereditary angioedema.
Halozyme, which is based in San Diego, will receive an upfront payment of $9 million and potential future milestone payments totaling $74 million.
Hereditary angioedema is a genetic disease that can cause dangerous swelling in the throat and extremities. Cinryze, which generated $57 million in first-quarter sales for ViroPharma, is approved for intravenous administration. But ViroPharma, based in Exton, Pa., is working to develop an injectable version that patients can administer.
Halozyme has developed a compound that may help deliver the drug in an injectable form, and ViroPharma is purchasing the rights to use that compound with Cinryze.
ViroPharma will start a mid-stage clinical trial testing the combination in the second half of this year.
Shares of Halozyme climbed 12 cents to $6.79 in afternoon trading Wednesday. ViroPharma shares fell 55 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $18.82.