Vectura Group, a product development company that specializes in pharmaceutical therapies for airway-related diseases, has just announced it has signed an international development and licensing agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., a provider of diagnostic assays using monoclonal antibody technology. The agreement covers the exclusive development of novel anti-inflammatory therapies for asthma and COPD, and states the two parties will first focus on the development of a Phase II candidate, with the prospect of additional clinical-stage candidates.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by bronchial spasms of the lungs, resulting in causing difficulty in breathing. Attacks are commonly triggered by allergic reactions, irritants, and cold air. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also results in difficulty in breathing, but is progressive in nature and is commonly a result of years of smoking or exposure to harmful fumes.
This new partnership will help strengthen Vectura’s position in the field of airways-related diseases, and leverage their proprietary dry powder inhaler technologies, which the Company plans to utilize in the development of Janssen’s pulmonary therapeutics, in preparation for late-stage clinical testing, regulatory submissions, and future commercialization.
The agreement states Janssen will spearhead upcoming clinical development programs, as Vectura leads pharmaceutical development and laying groundwork for Phase II clinical tests. While the specific financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed, the parties are entitled to receive development milestones and tiered royalty on sales.
“Vectura’s role in this agreement is to apply its expertise in the development of products for airway-related diseases and to utilize its technology/device platform offerings, some of which have regulatory and commercial validation,” said Dr. Chris Blackwell, the Chief Executive Officer of Vectura. “Vectura continues to be viewed as a partner of choice by companies seeking to address the unmet medical needs of patients with airway diseases.”
In other biotech updates on COPD management, Aseptika Limited’s self-monitoring device brand, Activ8rlives, recently announced they are currently developing a smartwatch, called, BuddyWOTCH™ (Walking, Oxygenation, Temperature, Chronicle or image capture, and Heartrate), specially designed to monitor COPD patients vital signs and oxygen saturation levels. Not only does it offer features that allow the patient to have a better picture of their health in realtime, but integrates cloud syncing for the purpose of medical research. The BuddyWOTCH will soon be CE-marked as a Class II medical device, designed for Home Use.
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