Emisphere Technologies Inc. and Novo Nordisk A/S have teamed up to develop oral formulations of insulin for diabetes.

Novo Nordisk, Emisphere, oral insulin, diabetes, pharmaceutical, health care, Eligen Technology, Peter Kurtzhals, Michael Novinski

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Novo Nordisk, Emisphere partner on oral insulin

December 22nd, 2010

PRINCETON, N.J. – Emisphere Technologies Inc. and Novo Nordisk A/S have teamed up to develop oral formulations of insulin for diabetes.

The health care and pharmaceutical companies said that under the exclusive agreement, they aim to develop and commercialize oral formulations of Novo Nordisk's insulins, which have the potential of treating diabetes, using Emisphere's Eligen Technology.

The pact marks the second license agreement between Emisphere and Novo Nordisk, according to the companies. The first agreement for the development of oral formulations of GLP-1 receptor agonists was signed in June 2008 with a potential drug currently in a phase-one clinical trial.

The insulin agreement includes $57.5 million in potential product development and sales milestone payments to Emisphere, of which $5 million will be payable upon signing, as well as royalties on sales, the companies reported. Other financial terms weren't disclosed.

"This is an encouraging agreement on a promising technology for oral administration of proteins. We are delighted to continue working with Emisphere and their Eligen Technology. It fits very well with Novo Nordisk's strategy within diabetes research," stated Peter Kurtzhals, senior vice president of the diabetes research unit at Novo Nordisk.

Commented Michael Novinski, president and chief executive officer of Emisphere, "To date, our collaboration with Novo Nordisk has been very productive, and today's agreement has the potential to offer significant new solutions to millions of people with diabetes worldwide. Finally, it also serves to further validate our Eligen Technology."

Emisphere said its broad-based drug delivery technology platform, known as the Eligen Technology, uses proprietary, synthetic chemical compounds, known as Emisphere delivery agents, sometimes called carriers. The technology makes it possible to deliver a therapeutic molecule without altering its chemical form or biological integrity, according to the company.