Nektar Therapeutics announced that it reached a new agreement with Baxter to develop PEGylated therapies for hemophilia A. The companies announced their initial agreement in September 2005. Nektar is a biopharmaceutical company based in San Carlos, CA, that specializes in the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymers to improve the performance of therapeutic proteins, such as those used to treat hemophilia. Protein molecules that are attached with PEG – said to be “pegylated” – prolong the time a drug circulates in the bloodstream. For hemophilia patients, pegylated therapies can prolong the viability of clotting factor inside the bloodstream, resulting in extended protection from bleeding.
As part of the agreement, Baxter will be responsible for the development and commercialization of the product. Nektar will be responsible for developing the technology used in the product and for providing the clinical and commercial PEG reagents. According to their December 20, 2007, press release, Nektar PEGylation technology has already been successfully applied to eight other products marketed in the U.S. and Europe. Preclinical development of the new hemophilia product will begin in 2008.
“This agreement highlights our commitment to collaborate with market leaders such as Baxter in the development of groundbreaking therapeutics,” said Hoyoung Huh, MD, PhD, Nektar Chief Operating Officer and Head of the PEGylation Business Unit.
Source: Nektar press release dated December 20, 2007