Sigmoid Pharma said today it has agreed to acquire Freund Pharmatec for an undisclosed price, in a deal that will expand the buyer’s manufacturing capacity as it aims for leadership in developing gastrointestinal (GI) drugs.

Freund Pharmatec, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of Freund Corp., is a drug delivery technology company focused on developing its own mini-encapsulation and layering technologies. These include Freund Spherex®, designed to manufacture mini capsules with particle diameter of 1-5 mmØ and Granulex® technologies.

Under the deal, Sigmoid plans to acquire full ownership of Freund Pharmatec and its assets, which include a GMP pharmaceutical manufacturing facility and research laboratories.

Sigmoid focuses on developing drugs for GI disorders as well as immunological diseases, using its Single-Multiple Pill (SmPill®) delivery technology, designed to optimize the formulation of active therapeutic agents and allowing targeted release at the site of disease. The company operates from a facility located at Tullamore Business & Technology Park, overseen by the economic development agency IDA Ireland.

Sigmoid’s lead program is CyCol®, a colon-targeted formulation of cyclosporine that permits local topical exposure of a powerful immunosuppressant while minimizing systemic blood levels. According to the company, CyCol offers the potential for a safe and effective oral treatment of moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Another Sigmoid drug candidate is a graft-versus-host disease treatment that has received the FDA’s Orphan Drug designation.

Freund Pharmatec has pledged to continue ongoing customer-funded R&D programs under Sigmoid management, and support manufacturing for Sigmoid’s clinical development pipeline, including CyCol.

Sigmoid said it has also agreed to explore opportunities to build on existing Freund Pharmatec and Sigmoid customer-funded drug delivery research projects and related licensing businesses, where applicable,

“This acquisition comes at an exciting time in Sigmoid’s development and will enable us to advance our lead programs through late-stage clinical development and expedite our goal of becoming a global leader in the development of oral, effective, and safe gastrointestinal disease therapeutics,” Ivan Coulter, Ph.D., Sigmoid’s CEO and founder, said in a statement.

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