Lyndra, Inc. and Allergan Sign a Partnership to Develop Ultra-Long-Acting Oral Products

Companies will collaborate to create products dosed once-weekly for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lyndra, Inc. (Lyndra) announced today a partnership with Allergan plc to develop orally administered ultra-long-acting (once-weekly) products for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The basis of the collaboration between the Boston-based startup and Allergan is Lyndra’s innovative sustained-release technology, which has the potential to transform drugs typically dosed daily to once-weekly oral dosing.

Allergan and Lyndra will collaborate to develop ultra-long-acting formulations of Allergan’s proprietary treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, where caregiver burden and patient adherence are common challenges. By decreasing patients’ overall pill burden and increasing adherence, novel, long-acting therapies have the potential to decrease overall healthcare costs and improve patient health outcomes.

“I am delighted that we have the opportunity to work so closely with the scientific team at Allergan to bring caregiver and patient innovation to this critical illness,” said Amy Schulman, Chief Executive Officer at Lyndra. “The chance to minimize the struggle with the daily pill can make a real difference to patients and their caregivers, ease the burden of medication compliance and simplify the day-to-day challenges of chronic conditions. As a team, we at Lyndra are deeply committed to making a difference in how people get well and our ultra-long-acting sustained release technology is built on the premise that a once-weekly oral pill will make a real difference in disease treatment and prevention.”

“As a leader in Alzheimer’s treatment, Allergan is committed to developing new approaches that further reduce the burden of treatment for patients and their caregivers,” said Sesha Neervanan, Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development at Allergan. “In addition to its potential application in Alzheimer’s disease treatment, we are excited by the potential for these technologies that could unlock a paradigm shift in the treatment of other conditions where less frequent administration is critical to improving compliance and patient care.”

The Lyndra technology is a novel dosage form designed to temporarily reside in the stomach for up to one week while delivering a drug or combination of drugs, until its finely tuned components break apart and pass through the GI tract. By permitting sustained gastric residence, the technology could improve pharmacokinetic profiles by blunting peak and trough concentrations, and enable local GI delivery and less frequent patient dosing. Dr. Robert Langer, Institute Professor at MIT and co-founder of Lyndra shared, “The astounding reality is that while there are so many effective, life-saving treatments available, nearly 50% of patients don’t adhere to their medication regimens which leads to avoidable negative health outcomes and pre-mature deaths. We are delighted that Allergan shares in our vision of developing novel, long-acting technologies that transform how patients take medicine and take full advantage of available treatments.”

In addition to the Allergan partnership, the company recently announced a five-year grant from the NIH to develop ultra-long-acting products for HIV. Catherine Reynolds, who recently joined as Chair of Lyndra’s Board of Directors, commented, “Lyndra’s dedication to targeting unmet needs in diseases such as Alzheimer’s is extraordinary. My enthusiasm as Chair of Lyndra stems from the ability to improve public health outcomes and Lyndra’s willingness to tackle the intractable issue of compliance.”

As part of the transaction, Allergan may elect an additional compound, from any therapeutic category, for inclusion in the collaboration. The agreement provides a $15 million upfront payment to Lyndra along with up to $90M in development and regulatory milestones spread across the Alzheimer’s program and the additional compound program. The transaction with Allergan is the largest deal to date harnessing Lyndra’s pioneering work in the area of ultra-long-acting oral delivery, and follows Lyndra’s Series A of $23 million announced this spring.

Lyndra: A Dose Goes a Long Way

Lyndra aims to fundamentally change the way patients take medicines through the development of oral, ultra-long-acting, sustained release oral therapies that drastically improve healthcare outcomes. The Lyndra platform was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Langer in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Lyndra formulations transform medications taken daily or more frequently into a weekly or monthly dose, promising to improve patient adherence as well as to optimize the pharmacokinetic profile of the dosage form.

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