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12:00 AM
 | 
Feb 22, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Alkermes goes Molecular

For years Alkermes Inc. has been developing extended-release formulations of drugs using its Medisorb technology. The company now is shifting much of that work to its new LinkeRx technology, a next-generation formulation technology for extended-release injectable drugs.

The technology employs the molecular modification of drug compounds, which Alkermes believes will reduce both manufacturing costs and complications encountered by microsphere encapsulation.

Initially, Alkermes will use LinkeRx to develop extended-release formulations of CNS drugs.

Medisorb works by encapsulating the drug molecule in a biodegradable polymer microsphere. The company has two marketed products that use the technology, Risperdal Consta risperidone and Vivitrol naltrexone. A third product could be exenatide once weekly, which is under FDA review with a March 5 PDUFA date.

According to Chairman, President and CEO Richard Pops, the company wanted to move beyond polymers and develop a "virtual" drug delivery system that is built into the molecular structure of the drug itself.

"The generational advance was to move away from polymers in total -...

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