Tarix Pharmaceuticals will develop an oral formulation of its lead peptide drug candidate TXA127 using Unigene’s Peptelligence™ technology platform, as the companies extended a feasibility partnership into a formal licensing agreement.

Tarix now holds an exclusive worldwide license to use Peptelligence with Angiotensin (1-7), the pharmaceutical ingredient in TXA127, as well as its functional equivalents, analogues, or derivatives. In return, Tarix agreed to pay Unigene an undisclosed percentage of revenues derived from direct sales of any oral dose form of an approved Angiotensin (1-7) product, or from any up-front, milestone, or royalties Tarix might receive if it sub-licenses to a third party Peptelligence with respect to any Angiotensin (1-7) product.

The agreement does not include any up-front payment by Tarix to Unigene.

“Our ability to potentially deliver TXA127 orally will significantly enhance its transactability with prospective advanced-stage development partners and serves to greatly differentiate it from other peptide-based drugs,” Tarix CEO Rick Franklin, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement.

Tarix is developing TXA127 for multiple therapeutic indications including enhancement of engraftment following peripheral blood and cord blood stem cell transplantation, stroke recovery, peripheral vascular disease, and diabetes. TXA127 has been granted orphan drug status by FDA for pulmonary arterial hypertension, to enhance engraftment in patients receiving a stem cell transplant, and for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

Data published in September from a feasibility study showed that the oral formulation of TXA127 produced extremely high exposure in the blood resulting in a several-fold increase in bioavailability compared to the oral delivery of the unformulated drug, and was equal to or greater than that achieved by the current subcutaneous formulation.

A related peptide, PanCyte, is being developed by Tarix for stroke and diabetes.

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