Ferring has signed a deal with South Korean group CTCBIO to acquire rights to its novel oral drug delivery technology for an undisclosed amount.

Under the deal, which includes an up-front payment, milestone and royalty terms, the two companies will work together on developing prototype formulations for in-vitro and in-vivo testing, as well as the subsequent up-scaling required to manufacture the technology to meet worldwide good manufacturing practice (GMP) requirements.

Commenting on the deal, Ferring chief scientific officer Per Falk noted that the firm’s “portfolio of peptide therapeutics make us an attractive partner for speciality technology-based companies like CTCBIO to collaborate on new approaches for oral drug delivery of peptides and proteins”.

Cortiment launch

Meanwhile, patients in Europe with ulcerative colitis could get access to a new second-line treatment option following the launch of Ferring’s Cortiment (budesonide) in the region.

According to Ferring, the drug is the first and only approved oral controlled release budesonide treatment for active mild-to-moderate UC if initial therapy with mesalazine (5-ASA) fails to induce remission. Currently patients failing on oral 5-ASA are given systemic corticosteroids, which can have significant side effects.  

Cortiment therefore “fulfils an unmet need, providing gastroenterologists with an orally administered alternative to systemic corticosteroids with an adverse event profile comparable to placebo,” the firm said.

UC affects over two million people in Europe.