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Another next-gen diabetes research deal for Novo


Novo to work with Ossianix on blood brain barrier drugs
Novo Nordisk is continuing with its investments into next generation diabetes and metabolic disease therapies with a new research deal with Ossianix.
The privately biotech is based in Philadelphia, PA with research laboratories in the UK specialises in develops novel biopharmaceuticals for a number of therapeutic areas including CNS which cross the Blood Brain Barrier.
Ossianix’s has developed single domain VNAR antibody synthetic phage libraries, which it uses to isolate drugs which can cross the BBB, which keeps most drugs from entering the brain.
The company’s “Trojan Horse” technique smuggles molecules across the barrier by using existing routes such as the transferrin receptor, which carries iron into the brain.
The company was founded in 2012 by former senior executives from Wyeth and Pfizer, Drs. Frank Walsh, Corey Goodman and J Lynn Rutkowski.
Dr. Frank Walsh, CEO of Ossianix, stated: “We are very excited to be working with Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company with 95 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. Ossianix’s single domain VNAR antibodies BBB platform is capable of delivering high levels of therapeutic products to the central nervous system utilising the transferrin receptor. We look forward to developing a successful collaborative relationship with Novo Nordisk on drug targets in the CNS associated with diabetes and metabolic disease which are areas of huge medical need.”
The company uses this versatile single domain shark VNAR scaffold to engineer differentiated products in a variety of therapeutic formats for different types of biologics. Its lead product is a brain penetrant CD20 antibody for multiple sclerosis and cerebral lymphoma.
Novo Nordisk will be responsible for the development and commercialisation of the therapeutic products. Ossianix will receive milestone payments, R&D funding, as well as product royalties from Novo Nordisk, and the pharma company has a buyout option for each product on pre-agreed financial terms.
The Copenhagen-headquartered firm has unveiled a series of deals in its core diabetes and metabolic disease area recently, including a research collaboration with Evotec and the acquistion of a UK company specialising in glucose sensitive insulin.