ViroPharma and Halozyme Announce Collaboration for Combination of Recombinant Human Hyaluronidase Enzyme (rHuPH20) Technology with C1 Esterase Inhibitor
EXTON, Pa., May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ViroPharma Incorporated (Nasdaq: VPHM) and Halozyme Therapeutics (Nasdaq: HALO)announced today that Halozyme has granted ViroPharma an exclusive worldwide license to use Halozyme's proprietary Enhanze™ technology, a proprietary drug delivery platform using Halozyme's recombinant human hyaluronidase enzyme (rHuPH20) technology in combination with a C1 esterase inhibitor. Additionally, Halozyme has agreed not to grant to any third party rights to use rHuPH20 to develop a combination product for the prevention or treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE), or for three additional orphan disease indications.
ViroPharma intends to apply rHuPH20 initially to develop a novel subcutaneous formulation of Cinryze® (C1 esterase inhibitor [human]) for routine prophylaxis against attacks of HAE. ViroPharma seeks to combine Cinryze with rHuPH20 to enhance volume independent biodistribution, and to increase the overall convenience of the therapy by allowing for a single subcutaneous injection of Cinryze. Recently completed preclinical studies have demonstrated that rHuPH20 and Cinryze can be formulated together without compromising the activity of either agent. ViroPharma intends to initiate Phase 2 clinical testing of the combination in the second half of 2011.
Halozyme's proprietary rHuPH20 enzyme facilitates the absorption and dispersion of drugs or fluids that are injected under the skin. When injected under the skin, rHuPH20 transiently generates channels in tissues underlying the outer layers of the skin to increase the absorption and spread of injected drugs. Halozyme maintains a patent portfolio pertaining to recombinant human hyaluronidase which expires in 2027 in the U.S. and has additional patent applications that relate to recombinant human hyaluronidase and methods of using and manufacturing the enzyme that rep