Pro Bono Bio (PBB) and PolyTherics say they have made progress on a haematology alliance project that aims to produce longer-acting versions of blood factor proteins.
Following an agreement between the parties signed in May 2012, the two companies undertook a feasibility programme to evaluate the use of PolyTherics' TheraPEG technology to develop a long-acting PEGylated form of Factor VIII (TheraPEG FVIII) for the treatment of haemophilia A (HA). The conclusion of this programme has led PBB to exercise an option to take an exclusive, global licence to use TheraPEG technology to develop and commercialise a TheraPEG-FVIII product that will be longer acting than the FVIII products currently in use. Haemophilia patients treated with FVIII prophylactically require treatment on average three times a week. A longer-acting FVIII will therefore enable less frequent dosing of the product and thus greater convenience for patients, particularly those using FVIII for regular prophylaxis against bleeding episodes.
The exercise of the option and signing of the licence has triggered an undisclosed milestone payment to PolyTherics. Under the terms of the licence, PolyTherics is also due to receive further development and regulatory milestones as well as royalties on future worldwide product sales.
PBB already has exclusive, global licences to use TheraPEG technology to develop and commercialise long-acting forms of Factor IX (for the treatment of haemophilia B, HB) and Factor VIIa (for the treatment of HA or HB in patients with an immune response to FVIII or FIX respectively, and also for use in trauma situations). The new licence to develop and commercialise TheraPEG FVIII completes this suite of the therapeutic blood factors.