UNC spinoff Liquidia Technologies, GSK collaborate on product development

Liquidia Technologies, a biotech company based on the discoveries of UNC-Chapel Hill scientist Joseph DeSimone, has announced the initiation of a multi-year, collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), potentially worth several hundred million dollars. The efforts of the two companies as a result of this agreement could lead to the development of multiple life-saving healthcare products.

GSK has acquired exclusive rights to research and develop certain vaccine and inhaled-product candidates using Liquidia’s proprietary PRINT® (Particle Replication In Non-Wetting Templates) technology. The PRINT technology is a powerful and versatile nanoparticle engineering and manufacturing platform that is changing the way companies engineer healthcare products.

“As a founder and member of Liquidia’s Board of Directors I can’t express enough how excited and proud I am of the PRINT technology team at Liquidia and UNC, as well as the business development and leadership team at Liquidia,” said DeSimone. “This partnership with GSK is a huge validation of the technology and Liquidia’s strategy.”

“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 library of proprietary compounds that could potentially benefit from Liquidia’s PRINT technology,” said Neal Fowler, Chief Executive Officer at Liquidia. “The strength of this collaboration is based on the strong and successful heritage of GSK’s vaccine and inhaled therapy franchises and the transformative particle engineering and manufacturing capabilities of Liquidia’s PRINT technology, which when combined, we believe will yield a next generation of life saving therapeutics.”

According to the agreement, Liquidia will receive an upfront payment, comprised of cash and equity, R&D funding, as well as potential for additional licensing fees, development milestones, and royalties. Upfront payment, R&D funding, licensing, and development and regulatory milestone payments under this collaboration could total up to several hundred million dollars upon all contingent payments coming due. Through this agreement, Liquidia has also retained the ability to independently develop certain respiratory and vaccine products in addition to using the PRINT platform to develop products in other therapeutic areas.

“I am looking forward to Liquidia and GSK scientists working together to explore the potential of Liquidia’s technology platform to our discovery and development portfolio,” said John Baldoni, Senior Vice President Platform Technology & Science, GSK.

Through its novel technology platform and robust intellectual property positions, Liquidia is poised to be a leader in the development of nanoparticle technology-based healthcare products and a catalyst for the growth anticipated across the nanotechnology industry. The PRINT technology has the unique potential to enable the development of novel products and manufacturing paradigms across the entire healthcare landscape, particularly within the broad therapeutic portfolios of pharmaceutical companies like GSK.

Liquidia was founded in 2004 based on the research of DeSimone and colleagues. DeSimone is the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at N.C. State University.

Published June 26, 2012.