PROLOR Biotech, Inc., (NYSE Amex: PBTH), today announced that it has entered into a definitive license agreement with Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd. for novel technology utilized in the development of long-acting therapeutic peptides and small molecules, termed Reversible PEGylation. The Reversible PEGylation technology has been shown in animal models to significantly enhance the half-life and improve the biological activity of a variety of peptides and small molecules, including the diabetes-related compound exendin-4, the appetite suppressant peptide PYY, the blood pressure controlling hormone ANP and the intravenous antibiotic drug gentamicin.
PROLOR has been developing, under a limited option-to-license agreement from Yeda, a long-acting oxyntomodulin peptide – a drug compound using this technology that is being developed for the treatment of obesity – and PROLOR has now exercised its option to license the technology. The definitive license agreement has an expanded scope and includes all therapeutic indications, with the exception of hemophilia and insulins.
The new licensed technology has the potential to enhance PROLOR's capabilities in developing long-acting peptide and small molecule drugs, serving as a complementary technology to PROLOR's core CTP platform for extending the duration of therapeutic proteins and peptides, and potentially enabling PROLOR to develop long-acting therapeutic drugs of many kinds.
"This license from the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science represents an exciting opportunity for PROLOR," said Dr. Phillip Frost, Chairman of PROLOR. "It complements our core platform and expands our pipeline of competitive long-acting therapeutic drug candidates to include new, important clinical indications."
Oxyntomodulin is a naturally occurring peptide hormone released by the digestive system following food ingestion that acts as a natural satiety signal to reduce food intake and increase energy expenditure. Previous third party studies in humans have demonstrated the potential of oxyntomodulin to reduce appetite and food intake, leading to significant weight loss without side effects. However, oxyntomodulin must be administered by subcutaneous injection and its short half-life may require frequent dosing. PROLOR's long-acting oxyntomodulin, which is expected to have a more favorable dosing profile, is currently in preclinical development.