Servier bets on match-stick-sized drug pump for diabetes drug

Servier has cast a vote of confidence in Intarcia Therapeutics' implantable drug mini-pump. In a partnership agreement, the French pharmaceutical company will develop and commercialize Intarcia's ITCA 650 investigational therapy outside the US and Japan, with Intarcia retaining full rights to the therapy in those markets, Intarcia announced. The agreement includes an upfront payment by Servier of $171 million, The Wall Street Journal reports, and total potential development, regulatory and sales milestone payments totaling more than $1 billion. Implanted into abdominal tissue in a five-minute procedure, the pump continuously doses exenatide (Byetta/Bydureon) in treatment of Type 2 diabetes patients. Boston-based Intarcia will continue its lead role in the potential registration of ITCA 650 in the U.S., while Servier will seek regulatory approvals outside the U.S. and Japan with Intarcia's support. Intarica just last month announced success in two of four phase III clinical trials, projecting global filings in the first half of 2016 for the injection-free GLP-1 agonist.

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