Zogenix and Battelle inked a new five-year contract, which expands an initial deal to co-market Zogenix’ DosePro® needle-free drug delivery technology. The initiative aims to advance potential out-licensing opportunities for DosePro with biopharmaceutical clients, and expand the application of the technology to higher-dose biologic therapies, according to the companies.

The agreement also establishes Battelle as the preferred provider of development services for the DosePro technology. Zogenix plans to leverage Battelle’s drug delivery business for expertise in self-injection system design, human factors, and device engineering as the firms further develop DosePro targeting dose volumes in excess of 1mL to accommodate a greater number of biopharmaceutical drug candidates.

Zogenix and Battelle began co-marketing and product testing in 2012. Since then, the companies have completed and presented studies supporting the use of DosePro with biologics and patient preference for needle-free injection technology. The research, which queried 300 rheumatoid arthritis patients, demonstrated a 30% increase in patient acceptance of self-injected medication when a needle-free option was offered, the companies said.

Additionally, the companies said they have completed a study that demonstrated the ability of the DosePro technology to effectively deliver a monoclonal antibody therapeutic, AbbVie’s Humira® (adalimumab). The in vitro study reportedly showed that DosePro can deliver Humira without incremental risk to protein denaturation and equivalent biological integrity as compared to delivery by pre-filled syringe.

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