International healthcare group Pro Bono Bio (PBB) has obtained an exclusive licence from UK-based biopharmaceutical company PolyTherics to use its TheraPEG technology for the treatment of haemophilia A (HA).

PBB’s licence acquisition is an option from a May 2012 agreement between the two companies to conduct a feasibility study on the use of TheraPEG to develop a longer-acting, PEGylated form of Factor VIII blood factor proteins for the treatment of HA.

Now that the feasibility programme has been successfully completed, PBB has taken the exclusive, global TheraPEG licence to develop and market a new TheraPEG Factor VIII that is longer-acting than other FVIII products currently in use.

A longer-acting FVIII will allow HA patients to have less frequent dosing against bleeding episodes; the average FVIII treatment regimen for haemophilia patients is three times a week.

The terms of the licence stipulate that PolyTherics will receive an immediate, undisclosed milestone payment after the exercise of the option, as well as further development and regulatory milestones and royalties on future sales.

PBB has already taken licences to use TheraPEG technology to develop long-acting forms of Factor IX, for the treatment of haemophilia B (HB), and Factor VIIa, to treat HA or HB in patients with an immune response to Factor VIII or Factor IX.

Pro Bono Bio’s chief operating officer Michael Earl said that the company is pleased to confirm that the increases in half-life of TheraPEG Factors VIIa and IX can also be shown with TheraPEG Factor VIII.

"The benefits of prophylaxis for patients with more severe forms of haemophilia are well established, and the development of this further product will make patients’ lives simpler and enhance compliance, whilst providing a significant commercial opportunity for our alliance with PolyTherics," Earl said.