Halozyme said today it has launched an up-to-$1.193 billion-plus collaboration with AbbVie focused on developing and commercializing products that combine AbbVie’s compounds with Halozyme’s ENHANZE drug delivery platform.

Under their global collaboration and licensing agreement, AbbVie has agreed to pay Halozyme an initial $23 million upfront, followed by payments tied to achieving development, regulatory, and sales-based milestones, totaling about $130 million for each of up to nine collaboration targets.

In addition, AbbVie agreed to pay Halozyme tiered royalties if products under the collaboration are commercialized.

ENHANZE™ is based on a recombinant human hyaluronidase or rHuPH20 that aids in the dispersion and absorption of other injected therapeutic drugs by temporarily degrading hyaluronan.

AbbVie reasons that the platform may enable more rapid delivery of injectable medications through subcutaneous delivery. The platform also holds potential for benefiting users of subcutaneous biologics by reducing the need for multiple injections.

Helen Torley, M.B., Ch.B., Halozyme’s president and CEO, said in a statement that AbbVie joins several biopharma giants in  partnering with Halozyme to develop new formulations of their drugs. These companies include Baxter International, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Biotech, Pfizer, and Roche.

Last year the the European Commission approved subcutaneous formulations of two Roche drugs that use ENHANZE, Herceptin® and MabThera.®

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