Reckitt Benckiser licenses Atrigel Technology from QTL

1-Sep-2008

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc, based in Richmond, VA, has set up a licensing agreement with QLT USA, for Atrigel sustained-release drug delivery technology.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc, based in Richmond, VA, has set up a licensing agreement with QLT USA, for Atrigel sustained-release drug delivery technology.

Under the terms of the license, QLT will receive an upfront total of $25m (Euro 17m) and may receive potential milestone payments of up to $5m ( €3.4m) based on the successful development of two Atrigel-formulated products. Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals will assume operations at QLT USA's corporate facility in Fort Collins, CO, together with 18 QLT USA employees as part of the agreement.

"Our exclusive licensing of the Atrigel platform underscores our long-term commitment to expanding our pharmaceutical pipeline and building upon our addiction therapy franchise," said Shaun Thaxter, president of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals manufactures and markets formulations of buprenorphine used to treat opioid dependence.

The Atrigel drug delivery system consists of biodegradable polymers dissolved in biocompatible carriers. Pharmaceuticals may be blended into this liquid delivery system at the time of manufacturing or, depending upon the product, may be added later by the physician at the time of use. When the liquid product is injected into the subcutaneous space through a small gauge needle or placed into accessible tissue sites through a cannula, water in the tissue fluids causes the polymer to precipitate and trap the drug in a solid implant. The drug encapsulated within the implant is then released in a controlled manner as the polymer matrix biodegrades with time.

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