Theralpha and Flamel Technologies partner to develop long-acting analgesic peptide
18 May 2011
French drug development company Theralpha SAS has entered into a joint development program with
US drug delivery
Flamel Technologies for a Medusa-enabled, long-acting
formulation of Theralpha's THA-902.
THA902 is a natural peptide that
is a potent and highly specific acid sensing ion channel 3 (ASIC 3)
inhibitor. It is effective in inflammatory pain animal models
following subcutaneous injection and has a number of possible
indications, including post-operative pain, osteoarthritis pain and
The development agreement has been structured to leverage
Theralpha's pioneering intellectual property regarding Acid Sensing
Ion Channels (ASICs) and Flamel's expertise in creating fully
bioactive long-acting formulations of peptides, proteins, and other
The compound to be developed, THA902 XL, is a Medusa-based
controlled-release formulation of THA 902. Medusa is Flamel
Technologies' proprietary nanogel for the formulation and/or the
extended release of a broad range of biologics (including proteins,
antibodies, peptides and vaccines) and of small molecules
Flamel Technologies will
be responsible for formulation chemistry with the objective to
potentially improve tolerability and dosing, by reducing
administration frequency, and consequently, allowing better patient
compliance. Theralpha will be responsible for pre-clinical testing
of THA902 XL pharmacodynamics.
Stephen Willard, Flamel's CEO, commented, "We are very excited
to enter into this development agreement with Theralpha. ASIC
inhibitors are a highly promising class of drugs that could
substantially contribute to improved quality of life for the large
number of patients who suffer from chronic pain due to inflammation
and other causes. THA-902 XL has the promise to be a first in class
compound with strong efficacy and safety advantages versus the
current standards of care."
"At Theralpha we believe that lack of adequate pain control,
particularly in patients with moderate to severe inflammatory pain,
represents a significant therapeutic gap in current pain management.
There is continued need across inflammatory pain syndromes for novel
agents like THA902. We are confident that the formulation developed
by Flamel Technologies may improve tolerability and long-term
efficacy," said David Dellamonica, CEO of Theralpha.