Baxter International has formed separate research pacts with California-based Nektar Therapeutics and UK-headquartered Lipoxen Technologies, to develop long-acting clotbusters. The groups hope to reduce the frequency of injections required to treat blood-clotting disorders such as haemophilia A.

The link-up with Nektar will develop a so-called pegylated form of Baxter's Advate (antihemophilic factor, plasma/albumin-free method): pegylation is designed to extend the activity of a compound, and works by attaching a fat (polyethylene glycol) molecule to the substance. In return, Nektar will receive milestone and manufacturing payments for the PEG component, as well as sales-based royalties. Baxter is responsible for the clinical development, manufacturing and marketing of any products derived from the agreement.

Under the terms of its alliance with Lipoxen, the UK firm will use its PolyXen technology to develop of modified proteins with extended biological activity, in return for research funding, milestone payments and royalties from Baxter. Specific financial details were not disclosed.

According to Baxter, these new agreements fall in line with its strategy of focusing on its own scientific resources and leveraging strategic collaborations in haemophilia. The group’s research is focused on extending therapeutic activity and developing less-invasive routes of administration.