Biogen bets big on new implant to improve Spinraza delivery.

Biogen has partnered with Alcyone Therapeutics to improve the delivery of its spinal atrophy drug Spinraza, committing more than $10 million to globally license the implantable device.

Spinraza is given as an intrathecal injection, also known as a lumbar puncture. The antisense oligonucleotide transport pathway enters the cerebrospinal fluid and thus provides direct access to the motor neurons of the central nervous system. However, intrathecal injections can be uncomfortable for patients and require travel to hospitals or outpatient clinics.

Spinraza is initially given every 14 days. And while the dosing frequency will eventually expand to every four months, some people’s anatomy makes repeated lumbar punctures difficult, creating an opportunity for drug delivery that reduces the burden and risk of treatment.
Biogen identified Alcyone’s drug delivery technology as an opportunity to improve Spinraza dosing. 

Technology-The ThecaFlex DRx System is an implantable device designed for routine subcutaneous administration of drugs into the cerebrospinal fluid. The system consists of an implantable intrathecal catheter, a catheter fixation device, and a subcutaneous port system that provides access to the central nervous system.

“Alcyone designed the ThecaFlex DRx system as a therapeutic option for patients with chronic neurological disease whose current treatment requires repeated lumbar punctures,” said PJ Anand, CEO of Alcyone, in a statement. “

This agreement highlights Alcyone’s expertise in CSF delivery technology, which we believe will provide a better care experience for people with certain neurological diseases and their caregivers.”

Biogen is collaborating on the clinical development of ThecaFlex DRx for antisense oligonucleotide therapy, initially focusing on Spinraza before potentially expanding to other molecules. Alcyone could receive up to $ if the project meets its development and commercial milestones $41 million

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