Recipharm has announced in a press release that it has invested SEK 8 million ($1 million) in Isofol Medical AB and has agreed to collaborate on Isofol’s lead drug candidate Modufolin. The biomodulator has shown promise in increasing the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents and decreasing the side effects.
Carl-Johan Spak, EVP Development & Technology of Recipharm, said, “Given the promising clinical data we have obtained to date, we want to secure the long term manufacture and supply of Modufolin for its future commercialization. This capital and the collaboration with Recipharm not only strengthens the ongoing Phase II clinical development program but could also secure the future commercialization of Modufolin.”
Recipharm has acquired the exclusive rights to manufacture Modufolin in the event of successful regulatory filings. Recipharm Venture Fund, the investment arm, supplied the funding to Isoful.
Modufolin is an endogenous folate-based biomodulator. The two companies believe it is an innovative product and is likely to reach the market. Isofol is currently evaluating Modufolin in three Phase I/II studies, two in colorectal cancer and one in osteosarcoma. The agent is designed to replace leucovorin/levoleucovorin, which improves the activity of cancer chemotherapeutic agents such as 5-FU (5-fluorouracil) while also reducing side effects.
In June 2013, Isofol announced that it acquired all of Merck’s patents for Modufolin and secured an exclusive license and the commercialization rights to the agent. Anders Rabbe, CEO of Isofol Medical, said of the agreement, "This exclusive supply and license agreement for a uniquely promising folate with the world’s leading manufacturer of reduced folates, puts Isofol in a very strong position also for the future marketing approval after the ongoing development program for Modufolin.”
The original agreement between Isofol and Merck was announced on November 11, 2009. Merck Eprova AG provided Modufolin for use in clinical trials. The relationship between Merck and Isofol began when Isofol’s founder, Prof. Bengt Gustavsson, collaborated with Merck over 15 years ago. The research focused on combining folates with anti-folates in oncology treatment. Early studies showed proof of concept with increased efficacy and decreased side effects.