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GSK Licenses Nanotech Product Development Platform

Syringe (ZaldyImg/Flickr)The global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will license a nanotechnology-based product development platform created by Liquidia Technologies in North Carolina. The precise financial scale of the deal was not disclosed, but the companies say total earnings by Liquidia could reach as high as several hundred million dollars.

Liquidia has built a development technology for pharmaceuticals based on processes used in the fabrication of semiconductors. The company says it can quickly design and manufacture precisely engineered particles of virtually any size, shape, or composition. The technology is based on research by University of North Carolina chemist Joseph DeSimone, who founded the company in 2004. DeSimone continues as as the company’s science adviser.

The deal involves GSK licensing Liquidia’s Particle Replication In Non-Wetting Templates (PRINT) platform for GSK to apply to certain vaccine and inhaled-product drug candidates. Liquidia says the PRINT platform allows for the engineering of nano- and microscale particles for small-molecule ingredients, biologic ingredients, polymeric drug delivery methods (such as extended release hydrogels), and systems based on acid or enzyme-degradable delivery. PRINT combines the drug development platform with a manufacturing system that meets current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) standards required by the FDA.

The agreement will enable Liquidia to receive an upfront payment, comprised of cash and equity, and R&D funding. Liquidia will also have the opportunity to receive additional licensing fees, development milestones, and royalties.

In addition to developing technology, Liquidia designs therapeutic candidates, and the agreement allows Liquidia to develop certain respiratory and vaccine products independently of those produced by GSK. The deal also lets Liquidia to apply the PRINT platform to other kinds of therapies.

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Photo: ZaldyImg/Flickr

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