News
/
/
Current news
February 22, 2022

Zerion Pharma and Hovione form strategic partnership to market and commercialise the proprietary Dispersome® technology platform

February 22, 2022 (COPENHAGEN, Denmark). Zerion Pharma A/S (ZERION), a Danish drug development company, is pleased to announce today to have entered into a strategic partnership with HOVIONE, a leading global specialist integrated development and contract manufacturer to accelerate the commercialization of the Dispersome® technology pioneered by ZERION. 

Through their partnership, HOVIONE and ZERION are offering pharma and biotech companies worldwide access to an innovative drug delivery platform combined with an unparalleled experience in formulation development, scale up and GMP manufacturing. This unique combination provides customers in the pharma industry with a line of sight over the entire drug development life cycle from the preclinical phase to commercial drug product.

“We are extremely pleased to have entered into this partnership with ZERION whom we recognize as a very innovative company in the field of oral drug formulations. ZERION´s proprietary Dispersome® technology builds on a new concept of increasing drug solubility by using natural protein-based excipients. I foresee that this will become a valuable component in HOVIONE’s leading amorphous solid dispersion technology platform.”, comments Jean-Luc Herbeaux, Chief Operating Officer in HOVIONE, and he continues: 
“By joining forces, ZERION and HOVIONE will be able to bring Dispersome® to the market faster.  We look forward to applying the technology in collaboration with our customers and partners in our effort to develop novel drugs with strong benefits to patients.”

Under the terms of the agreement, ZERION and HOVIONE will market the Dispersome® technology both jointly and individually to the pharmaceutical industry. The combination of having access to innovative technology and solid experience in process upscaling and GMP manufacturing will ensure pharmaceutical companies the best possibilities for developing a feasible drug formulation and scalable manufacturing process in the shortest time. 

The CEO of ZERION, Ole Wiborg, sees a strong synergy in the partnership and expects it to generate a large number of new pharma partnerships:

“We consider HOVIONE the global leader in the field of producing amorphous solid dispersions by spray-drying. More importantly for us, this leadership has resulted in HOVIONE being the main producer of novel FDA-approved drugs formulated as amorphous solid dispersions. Over the last 5 years, HOVIONE has been responsible for the commercial manufacture of most of the amorphous solid dispersions approved by the FDA.  Incorporating these competencies in our offering to the pharma industry both validates the strength of our Dispersome® platform and provides us and our pharma partners immediate access to the highest quality in upscaling and commercial GMP manufacturing. While we already have six ongoing industry partnerships, we expect this number to increase significantly during the coming years due to our collaboration”, says Ole Wiborg.

In addition to the co-marketing of the Dispersome® technology, both parties have agreed to further develop the technology that is already protected by several patent families until 2042. Financial terms of the agreement are not disclosed.

The Dispersome® technology 

ZERION has pioneered the Dispersome® technology that addresses poor drug solubility, one of the most recognised drug development challenges. Here, the API is formulated with novel protein-derived excipients, into amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) by Spray Drying. These protein-derived excipients aim to replace traditionally used polymers, achieving a higher increase in solubility and drug bioavailability.

High solubility - High drug load 

The use of Dispersome® technology enables drug loadings above 50% w/w while maintaining stability and improving API solubility. These results have been demonstrated and proven with a wide diversity of drug entities. 

BLG, an alternative to polymer excipients

Beta-Lactoglobulin (BLG), the main component in whey protein isolate (WPI), is the key excipient used in the Dispersome® technology. BLG is a natural ingredient used in food and nutrition products, offering a safe and easy to integrate alternative to be used in existing applications. 

Processability by Spray Drying

Dispersome® formulations can be manufactured at a large-scale using Spray Drying, the most widely used and accepted particle engineering technology. Leveraging Hovione’s extensive Spray Drying experience and expertise, this strategic partnership offers a clear path to clinical supplies and commercialization.

About Zerion Pharma A/S

ZERION has pioneered the Dispersome® technology that greatly enhances the solubility of poorly soluble, oral drugs and improves bioavailability and therapeutic outcomes for the patients. The Dispersome® technology is based on preparing stable amorphous formulations by mixing high loads of the drug compound with beta-lactoglobulin, a sustainable and biodegradable by-product from cheese production. ZERION develops proprietary drug formulations and offers the Dispersome® technology to established pharma companies as a means to solve their most challenging drug solubility problems. 

ZERION was established in 2019 as a spinout from the University of Copenhagen based on almost a decade of research. (Dispersome® is a trademark of Zerion Pharma A/S)

For more information, please visit www.hovione.com or www.zerion.eu or contact:

Ole Wiborg, CEO        Mobile: +45 40 96 80 18             E-mail: ow@zerion.eu