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Aug 31, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Third time's a charm

Despite the lack of success in the hands of two previous hosts, Zogenix Inc. and its venture backers saw potential in the DosePro delivery technology and succeeded by focusing resources on the lead drug-device product as the key to validating the platform. With an FDA approval now in hand for Sumavel DosePro, a needle-free version of subcutaneous sumatriptan, the company hopes to answer any doubts about the scalability of the device over the coming months to attract prospective partners.

Zogenix and Astellas Pharma Inc., its newly-signed co-promotion partner, believe the product's rapid onset and needle-free administration will carve out a niche in the acute migraine market. The companies plan to launch Sumavel DosePro in January.

The DosePro technology, or Intraject as it was known at Weston Medical Group plc and later at Aradigm Corp., is a subcutaneous delivery system that enables self-administration of single pre-filled doses of liquid drug formulations. Weston went into administration in 2003 and was bought by Aradigm, which later decided to focus on pulmonary delivery. Aradigm then sold the technology to newly formed Zogenix in 2006 for $4 million up front (see BioCentury, Sept. 4, 2006).

"When we look at a delivery play, we look to see if the technology enhances a drug's ability to differentiate itself from anything else out there," said Kurt Wheeler of Clarus Ventures, a member of Zogenix's investor syndicate. "With the Zogenix story, we liked that they could take a triptan, which has been shown to have greater efficacy and faster relief when dosed subcutaneously, and demonstrate a superior clinical efficacy package that is more convenient...

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