Sun Pharma and Israel-based Moebius Medical have entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing deal to further develop MM-II, a novel pharmaceutical candidate for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis. MM-II is a novel non-opioid product that leverages the physical properties of proprietary liposomes to lubricate arthritic knee joints, thereby reducing friction and wear, consequently leading to joint pain reduction.
MM-II is an intra-articular biolubricant injection which is being developed to provide symptomatic relief of mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis pain. The product is based on patent-protected technology licensed by Moebius Medical from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion Israel Institute of Technology and Hadassah Medical Centre.
Commenting on the agreement signed with Moebius Medical, Mr. Kirti Ganorkar, Global Head of Business Development, Sun Pharma, said, “Our agreement with Moebius Medical for an osteoarthritis product is a part of our effort to build a branded product pipeline and enrich our global portfolio for pain products. We are encouraged to further develop MM-II and hope to bring a new innovative treatment to patients suffering from osteoarthritic pain.”
Mr. Moshe Weinstein, CEO of Moebius Medical, added, “We are proud and excited that Sun Pharma, a leading global pharmaceutical company well positioned to optimally develop and commercialize this product, has chosen Moebius Medical as a partner for building its specialty pipeline, and we look forward to close cooperation as we continue MM-II’s development. Sun Pharma’s investment confirms the potential of our innovative approach to bring effective pain relief to osteoarthritis patients.”
Mr. Weinstein continued, “The fact that our novel technology was conceived in Israel and developed within the RAD Biomed Accelerator, confirms the unique quality of the country’s biotechnology ecosystem. In fact, our technology was borne from the multidisciplinary cooperation between leading professors from three of Israel’s most prestigious research institutions: Prof. Yechezkel Barenholz of the Hebrew University, Prof. Izhak Etsion of the Technion Institute, and Prof. Dorit Nitzan of Hadassah Medical Center. I would especially like to thank Prof. Barenholz for his ongoing support of the company, together with Dr. Yaniv Dolev, whose vision and leadership in the company helped bring this partnership to fruition.”
According to the agreement, Sun Pharma will fund further development of Moebius Medical’s lead product, MM-II, and undertake its global commercialization. To date, Moebius Medical has completed a first-in-man clinical study at Hadassah Medical Center, demonstrating the product’s fast onset of action and its potentially better efficacy and comparable safety for alleviating osteoarthritis pain as compared to Hyaluronic Acid injection.
Moebius Medical will conduct requisite pre-clinical studies, and will assume responsibility for product development and manufacturing through the end of Phase-II studies. Sun Pharma will assume responsibility for further clinical studies, regulatory submissions and product commercialization. Moebius Medical will receive an upfront payment, development-based and sales-based milestone payments, and tiered royalties on sales from Sun Pharma.