Debiopharm and NanoCarrier Form Research Collaboration on a New Platinum Compound Using the Medicelle(TM) Technology

Apr 21, 2005, 01:00 ET from Debiopharm S.A.

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland and CHIBA, Japan, April 21 /PRNewswire/ --
 Debiopharm S.A., the independent drug-development company specialising in
 oncology, endocrinology and niche products, announced today that it signed a
 research collaboration with NanoCarrier Co., Ltd, a company specializing in
 the development of drugs based on their proprietary micellar nanoparticle
 drug delivery systems (DDS) technology, to develop a new platinum compound.
 Under this collaboration, Debiopharm has the exclusive option to license-in a
 DACH-platin-PEG-polyglutamic acid (DACH Platin Medicelle(TM)) from
 NanoCarrier, for use in oncology. Preliminary animal experiments demonstrate
 that the Medicelle(TM) technology offers enhanced permeability and retention
 of the compound in the tumour, leading to improved efficacy and toxicity
     Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm will fund the entire
 development of the product. In addition, NanoCarrier will receive cash
 milestones at different stages of the development and royalties when the
 product is marketed.
     The mechanism of action of Medicelle(TM) delivery system is based on the
 formation of micelles, including hydrophilic-hydrophobic block co-polymers,
 with a hydrophobic inner core and hydrophilic outer shell. This allows the
 chemical entrapment of various drugs into the micelles. The drugs are then
 released slowly into the organism.
     "Coupling Debiopharm's expertise in oncology drug development,
 particularly platinum compounds, with Nanocarriers's expertise in the
 innovative Medicelle(TM) technology and manufacturing, gives us a high chance
 of success to bring a better targeted, more efficacious, and safer drug to
 cancer patients," said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and CEO of
     "It is a great pleasure to collaborate with Debiopharm, a company with
 proven drug development expertise," commented Ichiro Nakatomi, NanoCarrier's
 President and CEO. "Their cancer product Eloxatin(R) (oxaliplatin) is a
 marketed blockbuster. This collaboration is also a great opportunity for
 NanoCarrier's Medicelle(TM) Technology, which we hope will provide cancer
 patients with a new class of targeted drugs."
     About Debiopharm
     Debio is an established group of four complementary companies,
 Debiopharm, Debioinnovation, Debio R.P. and Debioclinic. Debiopharm, founded
 in 1979 in Lausanne, Switzerland, focuses on evaluating compounds with
 promising in-vivo results in animals to in-license, develop for global
 registration, and out-license to sales and marketing pharmaceutical partners.
 Debiopharm has proven expertise in drug development, having registered three
 products: Eloxatin(R), one of sanofi-aventis' leading marketed products,
 Decapeptyl(R), the leading product of Ipsen, and Trelstar(R) (1-and 3-month).
 Together, their combined sales were in excess of $1.8 bn in 2004.
 Debioinnovation was set up to complement the core business objectives of
 Debiopharm through addressing the financing and partnering needs of
 biotechnology, pharmaceutical start-up companies and life science incubators.
 Debio R.P. is a leader in polymer-based controlled release technologies that
 allow certain drugs like proteins, peptides and anti-cancers to be delivered
 in customized, sustained-release formulation. From its FDA-inspected
 manufacturing facility in Martigny, Switzerland, Debio R.P. also conducts
 feasibility studies, formulation selection, optimization, scale-up and cGMP
 manufacturing from clinical trial supplies to commercial scale. Debioclinic
 is a contract research organization, specialized in oncology and dedicated to
 clinical development, providing regulatory, biometric and clinical support in
 line with cGCP.
     For more information on Debiopharm, please visit our website at
     About NanoCarrier
     NanoCarrier is a product focused, R&D-driven venture enterprise
 headquartered in Chiba with a branch in Tokyo, Japan. NanoCarrier was
 primarily established in 1996 to create nanometer-scale particles to deliver
 a wide variety of pharmaceuticals from low molecular weight anti-cancer
 agents to proteins, nucleic acids and diagnostic reagents, and to work in
 partnership with leading researchers in the field. NanoCarrier possesses
 various innovative technologies, including NanoCap(TM) for water insoluble
 compounds, Medicelle(TM) for water-soluble drugs and other technologies
 suitable for the delivery of proteins and nucleic acids. Using these delivery
 technologies, NanoCarrier has acquired capabilities for the development of
 drugs and is currently focusing on oncology. The DACH Platin formulation was
 originally acquired by NanoCarrier from Professor Kataoka of Tokyo
 University, who is regarded as a pioneer in the field of drug delivery.
 Presently, NanoCarrier has business partnerships with Nippon Kayaku, KIRIN
 and CTT.
     For more information on NanoCarrier, please visit our website at

SOURCE Debiopharm S.A.