ViiV Healthcare will also obtain Halozyme’s recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 enzyme (rHuPH20) for four specific HIV medicine targets


GlaxoSmithKline head office, London. (Credit: Ian Wilson/Wikipedia.)

ViiV Healthcare, a GSK company that is specialised in HIV therapies, has entered into a global collaboration and license agreement with Halozyme Therapeutics for the latter’s Enhanze drug delivery technology.

The company will also obtain exclusive rights to Halozyme’s recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 enzyme (rHuPH20) technology for four specific HIV targets.

Under the terms of the agreement, ViiV will make an upfront payment of $40m to Halozyme for the exclusive license to four HIV small and large molecule targets.

Halozyme is eligible to receive additional payments of up to $175m in future, subject to achievement of specified development and commercial milestones.

Also, the company will receive mid-single digit royalties on sales of commercialised medicines using its Enhanze technology.

ViiV Healthcare research and development head Kimberly Smith said: “Many people living with HIV and those vulnerable to HIV tell us that for a variety of reasons, taking medicine every day is a challenge, and we have listened to them.

“We believe long-acting medicines are the future of HIV therapies and will help address these unmet needs.

“Our collaboration with Halozyme will keep us at the forefront of developing additional, innovative new options for HIV treatment and prevention as we work towards reducing the burden of HIV treatment.”

The PH20 enzyme works by breaking down hyaluronan (HA), a substance found in the body’s subcutaneous space that acts as a barrier to the flow of fluid.

Breaking down of HA locally would facilitate injecting and dispersing large amounts of fluid into the subcutaneous space to reduce burden and offer optimised treatment options.

With Halozyme’s technology, ViiV Healthcare is enabled to develop ultralong-acting medicines with its long-acting portfolio and pipeline products.

Halozyme has licensed its technology to 11 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, for potential use in oncology, autoimmune disease, rare disease and infectious disease.

Also, the company has signed a research and development agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center in the US.

Halozyme president and chief executive officer Helen Torley said: “We are excited to partner with ViiV Healthcare to create new delivery options for innovative medicines for HIV.

“This collaboration demonstrates the potential value of our technology to facilitate rapid, large-volume subcutaneous injections of not only more traditional medicines but also long-acting injectables, including small molecules, which in turn may further extend dosing intervals for people taking medicines for the treatment and prevention of HIV.”