(Copenhagen, February 9, 2021). Arla Foods Ingredients Group P/S (Arla), a subsidiary of Arla Foods amba, and drug formulation company Zerion ApS (ZERION) have entered into an agreement covering the supply of Arla’s novel and very pure ingredient Lacprodan® BLG that is produced through a patented new technology. ZERION utilises this highly purified protein as a critical component in its patented Dispersome® technology that enables poorly soluble drugs to reach their true therapeutic potential. The agreement marks an important milestone in a year long collaboration between the two companies.
“Since 2018, we have evaluated a range of protein excipients with our Dispersome® technology and among those, Arla’s Lacprodan® BLG has consistently demonstrated an impressive solubility enhancement of many small molecule drug compounds”, explains ZERION’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Korbinian Löbmann. “As an integral part of the drug evaluation and approval for the Dispersome® formulations, the protein will undergo regulatory assessment by FDA and EMA as a novel pharmaceutical excipient. It is therefore of utmost importance for us to source a protein of the highest quality and purity. Here, we have been very fortunate to work with Arla and to identify Lacprodan® BLG for our applications.”
The agreement between Arla and ZERION sets forth the intention of the parties to complete a full license and supply agreement. Under the final long-term supply agreement, Arla will supply Lacprodan® BLG for use as a pharmaceutical excipient to ZERION.
“The agreement with Arla confirms our excellent collaboration and represents an important step forward for ZERION to secure the long-term supply of Lacprodan® BLG as an enabling excipient for our Dispersome® technology“, says Ole Wiborg, CEO of ZERION. “We are grateful for the support and willingness to explore novel pharmaceutical applications from Arla. We are confident that Lacprodan® BLG can play a pivotal role as a novel excipient in our Dispersome® technology to enable novel drugs and enhance the quality and the safety of medicines for patients.”
Poor drug solubility is a major problem for the pharma industry
ZERION is a pharmaceutical development company specialised in improving the bioavailability of oral drug products by increasing their solubility. The company has pioneered the patented Dispersome® formulation technology that enables poorly soluble drugs to reach their true therapeutic potential. Poor drug solubility is one of the biggest challenges hampering the commercial development of novel small molecule drugs. Approximately 90% of all oral drugs in pharmaceutical pipelines do not sufficiently dissolve in the gastrointestinal tract and therefore cannot be absorbed into the circulation and exert their therapeutic effect. Many otherwise promising drug candidates are thus discontinued during early-stage development due to poor bioavailability.
The Dispersome® platform technology
The Dispersome® technology uses Lacprodan® BLG, a patented high quality whey protein, and environmentally friendly by-product from cheese production, to disrupt the drug crystal structure. A unique amorphous composition is formed from the mixture of Lacprodan® BLG and drug molecules resulting in improved drug solubility and bioavailability. The technology enables lowering of the drug dose, resulting in fewer and smaller tablets enhancing patient compliance as well as minimising any side effects. Dispersome® formulations can be produced using standard pharmaceutical equipment.
In addition to its internal product portfolio, ZERION is collaborating with established pharmaceutical companies to assist them in optimising the therapeutic performance of their drug compounds.
Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI)
Arla Foods Ingredients is a global leader in value-added whey solutions that discover and deliver ingredients derived from whey, supporting primarily the food industry with the development and efficient processing of more natural, functional and nutritious foods. Arla Foods Ingredients serves global markets within early life nutrition, medical nutrition, sport nutrition, health foods and other foods and beverage products.
Ole Wiborg, CEO
MOB +45 40 96 80 18
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