Acuform enables extended release of oral medications to the upper GI tract.

Janssen Pharmaceutica licensed worldwide rights to Depomed’s Acuform® gastric-retentive drug-delivery technology. Acuform is designed to improve existing oral medications, allowing for extended, controlled release of medications to the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Janssen plans to use Acuform for the development of a fixed-dose combination formulation of canagliflozin, a sodium glucose transport 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, and extended-release metformin. Janssen Pharmaceutica has also been granted a right of reference to the Glumetza® NDA and associated data for use in developing the combination product. Glumetza (metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets) is approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Under the terms of the service agreement, Depomed will formulate the fixed-dose combination product, and Janssen Pharmaceutica will have the commercialization rights to it. Depomed will receive a $5 million up-front license fee, plus reimbursements for its formulation work on the project and an additional $5 million license fee following completion of Depomed’s formulation work. Depomed is eligible for an additional milestone plus a royalty on potential future net sales.

“We are excited that we have been able to close our third licensing deal with a Big Pharma partner within the last two years. We believe that an expansion in use of our technology in the diabetes field will also further improve adoption of our proprietary, single-agent, extended-release metformin product Glumetza among patients and physicians,” said Carl A. Pelzel, president and CEO of Depomed. “We will continue to monetize the value of our technology and advance our strategic goal to become a specialty pharmaceutical company.”

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