MINNETONKA, Minn.—In a time when many pharmaceutical operations are looking for novel therapeutics, drug discovery company Medisyn Technologies has decided to go with a novel partner instead. To that end, Medisyn recently inked a multi-year agreement for a strategic alliance with Minneapolis, Minn.-based Humanetics, a biotechnology company focused on discovery, development and commercialization of naturally occurring, non-prescription oral agents focused on disease prevention, particularly with regard to obesity, the immune system and cognitive function. Financial terms and exact duration of the agreement were not disclosed.
Under the deal, the two companies will work together to accelerate the discovery and development of natural, non-prescription compounds, with Medisyn providing an exclusive pipeline of natural compounds to Humanetics, while Humanetics invests in the requisite clinical development programs to gain FDA approval for qualified disease prevention claims. This is Medisyn's first agreement with a company working on nutraceuticals.
The alliance opens a new market niche for Medisyn—one with a faster time-to-market than can be achieved with traditional new drug development, which requires extensive preclinical and clinical trials. Because of this, Medisyn hopes that it will get nearer-term revenue potential to supplement its longer-term revenues from prescription drug efforts.
Humanetics, in turn, gains access to Medisyn's Fast Forward Engineering platform, a proprietary technology that increases the accuracy and speed with which new compounds are discovered. This is a huge benefit in a sector like nutraceuticals, where companies tend to invest less in research and development than the pharmaceutical industry, says David Land, president of Medisyn.
The access to Medisyn's proprietary methodology greatly enhances Humanetics' ability to develop "protectable, efficacious and safe, oral agents," Land notes, which is a central goal for Humanetics. "Basically, we're providing them with an engine that has proven itself in the pharmaceutical space and will now give them a leg up in the natural product space."
"Our success depends, in part, on our ability to validate the health benefits of our products through clinical trials," says John Dykstra, chief operating officer for Humanetics. "Medisyn will provide an ongoing selection of compounds that we know meet certain specifications and have a higher probability of being effective. This partnership is unique in our market space and should provide us with a significant competitive advantage for accelerating our discovery process."
Land notes that the partnership is unique from his perspective as well. "With this effort, we're taking things learned from the pharmaceutical market for the benefit of the natural market, which is kind of a reversal," he says. "Often, the trend is to look at natural products for cues as to how you might make a new pharmaceutical product, not the other way around."
Parallel to its foray into nutraceuticals, Medisyn will continue to work with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to streamline their discovery initiatives, primarily in cancer treatment.