30 October 2002
Ferring announced today that it will collaborate with Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Ortho-McNeil) and Ortho-McNeil's research affiliate, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. (J&JPRD), both members of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, as part of a license agreement, to research and develop Ferring's inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DP IV) for use in the treatment of diabetes and obesity.
The license rights are subject to an up front payment, to development based milestone payments and royalty fees on net sales. Financial details were not disclosed.
Inhibiting DP IV as an approach to diabetes management is expected to expand the way that Type II diabetes patients are treated and provide diabetic sufferers with a new generation of products. Ferring's scientists will continue to work on the chemistry and J&J researchers will drive the pharmacology and product development efforts
"Ferring's research efforts in the DP IV area have led to the discovery of new, proprietary DP IV inhibitors with a potential for offering a new approach to the management of diabetes and obesity. Ferring's compounds are the result of a combined chemistry and pharmacology research program at Ferring's discovery unit in Chilworth, UK," noted Dr. Alan Harris, Vice President, R&D Portfolio Planning and Technology Transfer.
When Ferring's scientists in Chilworth, UK began working on the enzyme DP-IV in 1992, most enzyme inhibitors on the market were unstable and inactive. However, after several years of investigation, Ferring's researchers developed reversible inhibitors of DP-IV which were highly active and potent. Since the therapeutic area, diabetes is outside of Ferring's remit, the company welcomed partners who had experience in this area.
"Working with J&J gives us the additional know-how we need to take this compound from the laboratory to the patient. We believe that DP-IV inhibition is the next generation of Type II diabetes treatment - the collaboration will allow the process of drug discovery to move much quicker,'' said Michel L. Pettigrew, executive vice-president of commercial operations.
Type ll diabetes affects more than 18 million Americans and more than 150 million people world-wide. The Type II diabetes drug market world-wide has grown by 30 percent since 2000 and has an estimated value of more than $7 Billion.
Ferring is a research driven, speciality biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of urology, obstetrics and infertility, gastroenterology and endocrinology.
In recent years Ferring has expanded beyond its traditional European base and now has operating subsidiaries in over 40 countries.
Please visit us at www.Ferring.com