Dallas-based Access Pharmaceuticals has acquired the targeted therapeutic technology of Biotech Australia, giving it access to the patents to three targeted therapeutics. The amount paid for the company and its technologies will depend on the achievement of certain technology milestones, Access said.
The three patented targeted therapeutic technologies are: folate conjugates of polymer therapeutics, to enhance tumour delivery by targeting folate receptors; the use of vitamin B12 to target the transcobalamin II receptor which is upregulated in numerous diseases including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, certain neurological and autoimmune disorders; and the oral delivery of a wide variety of molecules which cannot otherwise be orally administered, using the active transport mechanism which transports vitamin B12 into the systemic circulation.
Commenting on the acquisition, Kerry P. Gray, president and CEO of Access, said: "This targeted therapeutic technology is complimentary to technology currently being developed by Access. Attaching targeting moieties to polymers to enhance tumour uptake offers exciting possibilities and extends our cancer polymer therapeutics programme beyond platinum compounds. Additionally, we believe that combining the Biotech Australia active transport oral delivery technology with the Access bioerodible cross link technology could represent a significant advance in the oral delivery of biologicals.''
The acquisition will also expand the scientific capabilities of Access as Dr Gregory Russell-Jones, the inventor of the technologies, will be joining the Access scientific team. Dr. Russell-Jones has extensive experience in targeted therapeutics and oral delivery, and has published over 40 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
In addition, Access acquires a capability to perform biological studies which previously were out-sourced. This capability will significantly enhance the ability of Access to identify lead compounds more rapidly and develop the necessary pre-clinical data for regulatory filings. This acquisition is a significant step towards the achievement of the critical mass necessary for Access to accelerate the development of its technology platforms, the company said.
Access Pharmaceuticals is an emerging pharmaceutical company focused on developing both novel low development risk product candidates and technologies with longer-term major product opportunities. In conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline, Access has developed Aphthasol, the only FDA-approved product for the treatment of canker sores, and is developing products for mucositis and other dermatological indications.
Access is also developing polymer platinates for use in the treatment of cancer and is developing in conjunction with its partner, Strakan, a topical zinc delivery system called ResiDerm that provides rapid delivery and reservoir of a drug in the skin.