Vectura Group plc has announced that its undisclosed European collaboration partner for VR315 has exercised an option to license VR632, a second combination asthma therapy. VR632 will be developed as a generic combination product using GyroHaler®. This agreement follows the March 2006 agreement with the same European partner for VR315.
Vectura's GyroHaler® is a multi-dose, dry powder inhaler developed with the aim of providing a number of advantages over competing devices. These include better convenience for patients, more consistent, precise dosing and excellent moisture protection; a key distinguishing factor in inhaled drugs which are in a fine powder form.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vectura will be responsible for the further formulation development of VR632 and for the commercial manufacture and supply of the GyroHaler® device.
Vectura’s partner will be responsible for the clinical development, manufacture and European marketing of the product, with Vectura having access to all clinical data generated from the collaboration. Vectura’s partner intends, if required, to provide US-compliant manufacturing facilities for the blister filling and assembly of VR632 for non-European territories.
Vectura will receive up to €15.5 million in milestones and development funding prior to the launch of VR632 and will earn royalties on all product sales, as well as a margin on the commercial manufacture and supply of GyroHaler®.
The agreement covers Europe and certain other countries, with Vectura retaining the rights for the US, Japan, Canada, South America, Australia, New Zealand and some other territories.
Combination therapy for asthma is the biggest and fastest growing sector of the asthma market with annual sales currently exceeding $6 billion and European annual sales estimated at approximately $1.5 billion.
Dr Chris Blackwell, Chief Executive of Vectura, said: "We are delighted to be extending our collaboration with our VR315 partner, providing further validation of the progress we have made to date. It is a major extension to one of the three key licensing deals we have concluded for products delivered using GyroHaler® and is the second announcement relating to this technology in as many months. It is also further endorsement of the added value Vectura can deliver in respiratory product development. The territorial nature of this agreement allows us to continue our efforts to deliver value in the future by the further development and licensing of VR632 in other territories.”