Proteus Biomedical will receive $24 million worth of cash and equity investments up front as part of an exclusive, worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Novartis to develop pharmaceuticals incorporating the company’s sensor-based technology in the organ-transplantation field. Proteus will be due additional royalties on worldwide sales of products developed under this partnership.
The deal also gives Novartis certain option rights in cardiovascular and oncology applications along with rights to use Proteus’ technologies in the clinical development of pharmaceuticals.
Proteus is designing ingestible and implantable technologies that allow medical devices and pharmaceuticals to provide feedback on factors such as patient physiology and compliance. The company’s platforms include its implantable ChipSkin™ technology, which monitors the performance of implanted medical devices, and ingestible event markers (IEMs) for generating “intelligent” pharmaceutical products.
IEMs are tiny silicon wafer-based digestible sensors that can be embedded in oral pharmaceutical tablets. The sensors are activated by stomach fluids after swallowing. The company claims that once activated, the IEM sends an ultralow-power digital signal through the body to a microelectronic receiver that is either a small bandage-style skin patch or a tiny device inserted under the skin.
The technology is being exploited in the Proteus Raisin™ system, which links the precise times a patient takes one or more microchip-enabled drugs to physiologic sensors and physician decision-support tools. The Raisin system is initially being developed for use in patients with heart failure.