Akston Biosciences, which develops new classes of biologic therapeutics, today announced it has signed licensing, development and supply agreements with Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, a global veterinary pharmaceuticals company, for the commercialization of AKS-425c, a once-a-week insulin therapy for the treatment of diabetes in cats.
The companies expect development to be completed within five years and receive marketing authorizations in the U.S., European Union and other global markets. The supply agreement calls for Akston to be the exclusive manufacturer of the product to be marketed by Dechra. The multi-million-dollar licensing and development agreement includes payments to Akston on signing, for development milestones, and a royalty on sales.
In 2019, the two companies signed a licensing and supply agreement for AKS-321d, a once-a-week insulin therapy for dogs. Dechra has successfully completed a proof-of-concept (POC) study of it in privately-owned veterinary practices with client-owned diabetic dogs.
“The current twice-a-day treatment for dogs and cats with diabetes is difficult on pets and most owners prefer the convenience of a once-a-week injection that can improve the quality of life for their pets,” said Todd Zion, Ph.D., President & CEO of Akston Biosciences. “Dechra has proven to be a strong and valued partner in the commercialization of our ultra-long-acting insulin technology for pets.”
Ian Page, CEO of Dechra Pharmaceuticals, added, “Our work with Akston’s long-acting insulin for dogs, and now for cats, continues to position Dechra as a world leader in veterinary endocrinology. Once approved, these two biologic drugs will be amongst the most significant products in our portfolio as we continue to expand our range of novel therapeutics.”
More than 150,000 cats are diagnosed with diabetes each year in the U.S. and the E.U. Current therapy is indicated for twice-a-day subcutaneous injection and owners generally find the treatment regimen to be onerous and error-prone. A significant number of animals are euthanized within one year of diagnosis. AKS-425c for cats offers the potential of a once-a-week treatment, using specially-designed insulin to increase glucose-lowering bioactivity and a modified cat Fc, which enables a long half-life through FcRn recycling. Currently, AKS-425c is in field testing in veterinary centers with client-owned, diabetic cats.
About Akston Biosciences
Akston Biosciences leverages its novel fusion protein platform to develop and manufacture new classes of biologics, including autoimmune disease therapies, ultra-long-acting insulins, and vaccines. Founded by the team that developed the world’s first clinical glucose-responsive insulin at SmartCells, Inc. (sold to Merck & Co. in 2010), It operates a 1,000-liter GMP biologics manufacturing facility and research laboratory at its Beverly, MA location. www.akstonbio.com.
Dechra is a global veterinary pharmaceuticals and related products business. Its expertise is in the development, manufacture, marketing and sales of high-quality products exclusively for veterinarians worldwide. The majority of Dechra’s products are focused on key therapeutic categories where the company has leading market positions, and many of its products are used to treat medical conditions for which there is no other effective solution or have a clinical or dosing advantage over competitive products.
Stock Code: Full Listing (Pharmaceuticals): DPH.
Dechra and the Dechra “D” logo are registered trademarks of Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC.
Birnbach Communications for Akston Biosciences