A novel product for the consumer paediatric market could soon be developed after drug delivery specialist Suda Pharmaceuticals (ASX: SUD) announced a fully-funded feasibility study and option agreement with Spanish pharmaceutical company Laboratorios Ordesa.
The deal was agreed in lieu of Suda’s new chief executive officer Dr Michael Baker taking the reigns of the company early next year and replacing Paul Hopper, who will step down after a hand-over period.
Laboratorios Ordesa currently sells a range of nutrition products aimed at health-conscious consumers including children, women and elderly people. The company’s product portfolio contains over 400 different products with Ordesa declaring that it is committed to international expansion after establishing a strong position in Spain.
Its brands include Blemil, a milk formula product; Blevit, a range of porridges and cereals for babies and natural collagen supplement Colnatur for women.
Meanwhile, Suda is progressing a product pipeline that includes ZolpiMist – a first-in-class oral spray of zolpidem for insomnia. ZolpiMist is currently being marketed in the US and Suda has rights to the product outside of the US and Canada.
More broadly, Suda’s pipeline includes several oro-mucosal-focused products that can deliver a broad range of drugs through either the cheeks, gums, tongue or floor of the mouth.
The technology is compatible with, and patented for, use in either air-activated or aerosol propellant-driven spray systems, and can be provided in either multi-dose or unit containers based on the medical need and marketing requirements.
Dr Baker will take up his new post having led Australian life science fund, Bioscience Managers since 2017 where dealt with sourcing from networks, conferences, universities and research institutes.
He also conducted the due diligence to shortlist investment opportunities and managed portfolios, specifically helping investee companies with corporate and operational strategies and fund raisings.
However, Suda will also harness his expertise in developing agricultural and pharmaceutical products, obtained while working as project manager at Hexima
Suda and Ordesa intend to co-develop a consumer product for the paediatric market with Suda expected to provide an improved patient delivery route that leverages OroMist technology – a method of drug delivery that improves the speed of onset and reducing wastage as part of consumption.
Suda specialises in developing low-risk oral sprays using its OroMist technology to reformulate existing pharmaceuticals.
The many potential benefits of administering drugs through the “oral mucosa”, or in other words, cheeks, the tongue, gums and palate, include ease of use, lower dosage, reduced side effects and faster response time.
In a market statement, Suda said the feasibility study will be fully funded by Ordesa and Suda will receive an upfront option fee of US$100,000 (A$140,000). Logistically, the companies plan to carry out their development project by working through joint committees all the way through to final commercialisation.
After the study is completed Suda and Ordesa plan to strike a definitive agreement that will cover licensing, supply and further development. During the study, Ordesa will have the ability to augment the scope of work or to exercise its option for a full development programme given that it will fund the entire venture.
According to Suda, all intellectual property from the feasibility study and the full development will be jointly owned, however, Ordesa will own the trademark for the finished product.
“This is a very exciting deal which combines the consumer marketing expertise of Ordesa with Suda’s formulation spray technology and pharmaceutical partnering capability,” said David Phillips, Suda’s executive director of business development.