Liquidia Technologies signs lucrative deal with GSK

News | 06. 20. 2012

Liquidia Technologies

Liquidia Technologies, a small Research Triangle Park drug-development company, has signed a transformational licensing deal with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline that could be worth up to several hundred million dollars.

Liquidia said Wednesday that GSK has licensed the rights to develop certain experimental vaccines and inhaled drugs using Liquidia’s proprietary nanotechnology, but the announcement didn’t include specifics. Liquidia said that a combination of payments from GSK -- including up-front money, research-and-development funding and milestone payments -- could amount to “up to several hundred million dollars” if all goes well.

Liquidia and GSK, which are collaborating on the drug-development efforts, are neighbors. London-based GSK has 3,800 workers at its U.S. headquarters in RTP and another 600 employees in Zebulon.

Liquidia was founded in 2004 based on the nanotechnology research of Joseph DeSimone, a chemist at N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. DeSimone founded the company with colleagues from UNC.

The privately held company has been nurtured by venture capital investments up to now, including funding provided by Triangle firms Pappas Ventures and the Wakefield Group.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with GSK, a company known for its commitment to scientific excellence, medicinal chemistry expertise and expansive knowledge of proprietary compounds that could potentially benefit from Liquidia’,” Liquidia CEO Neal Fowler said in a statement.

Liquidia has retained the rights to develop certain respiratory and vaccine medicines, as well as the right to use its technology to develop drugs in other therapeutic areas.

The company says that its PRINT technology -- Particle Replication In Non-Wetting Templates -- has the potential to develop next-generation drugs. For example, its technology is geared to deliver inhaled drugs to specific regions of the lung, which holds great promise for treating diseases such tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis.

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