Novozymes Biopharma wins DDP Technology Innovation Award


For albumin-based drug delivery technology

Novozymes Biopharma has received the 2012 Drug Delivery Partnerships (DDP) Technology Innovation award for its albumin-based drug delivery technology.

The Danish firm says this technology platform offers the potential to enhance patient quality of life through tailoring drug circulatory half-life to meet specific medical needs.

The DDP awards acknowledge success within the drug delivery industry and were selected by peers from the pharmaceutical industry at the 16th annual DDP conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr Darrell Sleep, head of research and development at Novozymes UK, collected the award.

Dave Mead, business development director of Novozymes Biopharma, said: ‘The albumin based technology is adaptable and can be used for both genetic fusion (Albufuse Flex) or conjugation (Recombumin Flex), providing a unique ability to decrease or increase a drug’s half-life. This will help manufacturers to develop pharmaceuticals with enhanced pharmacokinetic properties, offering more favourable dosing regimes and improving patient compliance, while reducing healthcare costs. For the solution to be recognised as the most exciting delivery technology of the past year, at one of the pharmaceutical industry’s largest drug delivery conferences, is a real testament to its potential importance to the market.’

Novozymes’ technology exploits the natural interaction between albumin and the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn). In collaboration with the University of Oslo, Norway, specific albumin variants have been designed with altered binding affinities for the receptor, making it possible to modulate the serum half-life of an albumin molecule. By coupling a drug to these variants through genetic fusion or chemical conjugation, the technology confers the extended or reduced circulatory half-life onto the drug molecule.

This half-life extension technology enables drug manufacturers to design products, or life-cycle manage existing drugs, with longer serum half-life, reduced toxicity and improved pharmacokinetic profiles. As a result, the frequency of injections a patient receives or even the amount of drug delivered can be reduced.