Shares in the French firm Flamel Technologies have shot up on the news that the company has signed up US drug major Wyeth as a user for its Medusa technology.

Specifically the deal is for the development and licensing of “a marketed protein” using Flamel's Medusa technology, which is designed to deliver controlled-release formulations of proteins, peptides and other molecules, without reduction in bioactivity. The financial terms of the agreement were not revealed but the Lyon-headquartered firm said it will receive an upfront payment, potential development fees, milestones and royalties.

Flamel’s shares, which are listed on the Nasdaq in the USA, rose 8.5% to $9.92 and the Wyeth deal is a welcome piece of good news for the firm. Investors have looked less than kindly on the stock of late, due principally to the first generic versions of GlaxoSmithKline’s cardiovascular agent Coreg (carvedilol) hitting the US market, the link with Flamel being that its Micropump technology is used in GSK’s longer-acting, once-a-day version of the drug, Coreg CR.

Coreg CR was approved in the USA at the beginning of the year and only time will tell if it can compete with generic carvedilol flooding the market. Meantime Flamel needs to sign more licensing deals like the Wyeth one to show that Medusa and Micropump are technologies worth having.