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US-based biotechnology firm Halozyme Therapeutics has entered a global collaboration and licence agreement with Eli Lilly and Company to develop and commercialise new drugs that combine compounds with the Enhanze drug delivery platform.

Enhanze is based on Halozyme’s recombinant human hyaluronidase enzyme (rHuPH20), which is designed to allow injection of some biologics and compounds that are now administered intravenously.

rHuPH20 temporarily degrades hyaluronan in order to aid in the dispersion and absorption of other injected therapeutic drugs.

Lilly noted that the technology may allow for faster delivery of injectable drugs through subcutaneous delivery.

As part of the deal, Lilly has agreed to pay Halozyme an initial $25m payment, followed by milestone payments of up to $160m for each of up to five collaboration targets for a total value of up to $800m.

The payments are subject to Lilly achieving development, regulatory, and sales-based mlestones.

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Lilly delivery and device research and development vice-president Divakar Ramakrishnan said: "We are pleased to collaborate with innovators like Halozyme as we develop our pipeline assets and optimise them for the clinic.

"Halozyme’s Enhanze technology will provide a platform for our scientists to optimise delivery of Lilly medicines through subcutaneous injection."

"Halozyme’s Enhanze technology will provide a platform for our scientists to optimise delivery of Lilly medicines through subcutaneous injection."

Lilly has also agreed to pay Halozyme mid-single digit royalties for products that are commercialised through the collaboration.

The company noted that by using rHuPH20, some biologics and compounds administered intravenously may instead be delivered subcutaneously.

The technology may also benefit subcutaneous biologics by reducing the need for multiple injections.

In studies, the delivery has been shown to reduce health care practitioner time required for administration and shorten time for drug administration.

Image: Lilly and Halozyme will develop new drugs based on Enhanze drug delivery platform. Photo: courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn/