The agreement gives Novo Nordisk the exclusive rights to use Caisson's proprietary heparosan-based drug delivery technology to engineer and develop compounds within undisclosed therapeutic areas. In exchange, Caisson will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and contract research and manufacturing payments. In addition, Caisson will be eligible to receive milestone payments upon achievement of certain predefined clinical, regulatory and commercial targets, plus royalties on the global sales of the therapeutic products developed under the agreement, representing a total deal value potentially in excess of $100 million.
"We recently completed feasibility studies with Novo Nordisk that we believe validate Caisson's heparosan-based drug delivery technology for product pharmacokinetics and enhanced half-life in relation to an undisclosed therapy area," said Paul DeAngelis, chief scientist of Caisson.
The technology utilizes a naturally occurring sugar polymer that is stable and inert in the bloodstream, but is biodegradable inside cells for the purpose of cloaking, enlarging and/or protecting drug cargo. Heparosan can be customized with respect to polymer size and conjugation chemistry, thus providing flexibility to enhance a variety of therapeutic proteins, peptides, delivery platforms (e.g., liposomes, viruses or nanoparticles), and small molecules.