Alizyme Therapeutics Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alizyme plc, has entered into a strategic partnership with Japanese bio-venture group TSD, including a co-development deal for Colal-Pred in Japan.

Under the terms of the deal, financial details of which were not disclosed, TSD has gained exclusive rights to co-develop Alizyme’s Colal-Pred for ulcerative colitis in Japan, and the group will also identify new drug candidates for in-licensing/acquisition by the UK group for development outside of country.

Explaining the strategy behind the move, Alizyme said it opens up an easy channel for the group to launch its products in the Japan, an important pharmaceutical market, as well providing the opportunity to develop some of TSD’s products for commercialisation in the West. And commenting specifically on the Colal-Pred element of the deal, TSD chief executive Dr Osamu Shiho said it will “greatly assist us in realising our corporate objective of developing and commercialising innovative products for the Japanese market”.

Just last week Alizyme announced that it had signed US rights for Colal-Pred over to Prometheus, allowing the firm to develop and market the drug for gastrointestinal diseases and other applications in North America. The move, coupled with this latest tie-up with TSD, should go some way to allaying previous analyst concerns that the company was failing to sign up partners for its products.