Iconovo announced July 8th that a regional licensing agreement had been signed with BNC Korea regarding the development of two inhalation capsule formulations for generic Ultibro® and Seebri® for ICOcap®. The agreement gives BNC Korea exclusive rights in a territory consisting of Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Russia, the CIS Countries and the Southeast Asian Countries (including Turkey). The deal has a milestones value of EUR 550.000 whereof EUR 150.000 is to be paid as an access fee. Iconovo estimates that most of the value will be in future royalty payments and not milestones payments.

Ultibro® and Seebri® are approved for the treatment of COPD. Ultibro® Breezhaler® generated sales of USD 427 million and Seebri® Breezhaler® generated sales of USD 121 million according to the 2019 annual report of Novartis. In the announcement from July 8th the share of global sales 2019 was estimated to 25%. Iconovo’s new changed estimate is that approx. 15 % of global sales 2019 comes from the territory that is licensed to BNC Korea (territorial sales 2019 of approx. USD 82 million for both products instead of earlier communicated EUR 140 million).

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So far, 2020 has brought several advancements for the Swedish dry powder inhaler company Iconovo. A major stepping stone was the change of CEO in April. With Orest Lastow transitioning from CEO to CTO, to optimize the output of his expertise in the field, Iconovo has recruited Johan Wäborg for the CEO position bringing valuable business development experience to the company’s leadership. BioStock was able to get in touch with Johan Wäborg to learn more about his vision for the company.

Iconovo is a medtech company that offers the development of ready-to-use inhalation products – inhalers in combination with dry powder formulations. The company’s inhalation products are primarily intended for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – two very common respiratory diseases.

Over the years, the company has developed a broad product portfolio including four inhaler platforms, through which Iconovo is able to insert itself into a growing global market. Three of the platforms are already fully developed and available for customization to suit administration of different inhalation powders: ICOresICOcap and ICOone. All of these have seen continued progress in terms of updates during the first half of 2020 despite a pandemic disrupting businesses across the globe.

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Iconovo announce that the company has signed a know-how license agreement granting BNC Korea Co Ltd the exclusive rights to use the know-how to manufacture the formulations and to market, sell and distribute the formulations together with ICOcap® in the territory. BNC Koreas has exclusive rights in a territory consisting of Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Russia, the CIS Countries and the Southeast Asian Countries (including Turkey). The license agreement covers two generic formulations, a generic Ultibro® Breezhaler® (indacaterol, glycopyrronium) product and a generic Seebri® Breezhaler® (glycopyrronium) product. The deal has a value of EUR 550,000 whereof EUR 150,000 is to be paid as an access fee. Royalties from future sales will be a mid-single digit percentage of sales depending on market.

Ultibro® and Seebri® are approved for the treatment of COPD. Ultibro® Breezhaler® generated sales of USD 427 million and Seebri® Breezhaler® generated sales of USD 121 million according to the 2019 annual report of Novartis. Iconovo estimates that approx. 25 % of global sales comes from the territory that is licensed to BNC Korea (territorial sales of approx. Euro 140 million for both products). The remaining territory is still available for licensing where Europe is the largest opportunity.

”Iconovo is looking forward to work with BNC Korea to bring these two products to market in a very important territory with over 2.7 billion inhabitants. BNC Korea is a regional dynamic company with fast decision-making and established distribution networks. With BNC Korea we are confident that the products can be advanced to market in a fast and effective way. We will work closely with BNC Korea using our combined knowledge to form a strong alliance. This agreement is a validation of our technology and will make an important first block in our continuing licensing efforts for the remaining territory.” says Johan Wäborg, CEO of Iconovo.

About ICOcap®
ICOcap is a robust capsule-based dry powder inhaler with a unique grip-friendly one-piece hinge design that ensures ease of use. It is currently designed with a low flow resistance but can be customized to a flow resistance of choice. ICOcap™ is available from Stevanato.

About COPD
COPD is a combination of inflammation in the airways and destruction of the lung tissue. The disease progresses slowly over many years and the main cause is tobacco smoking. Patients with COPD have difficulty breathing, and experience fatigue and a lack of energy. There is no cure for COPD, and the treatment goal is to try to stop further deterioration and destruction
of the pulmonary alveoli. According to WHO, COPD was the third most common cause of death in the world with 3 million deaths. The number of people living with COPD worldwide was estimated to be 251 million.

About BNC Korea
BNC Korea Co., Ltd was founded in 2007 and is enlisted on KOSDAQ market in Korea. The company has been developing biologicals and pharmaceuticals which have differentiating characteristics meeting unmet medical needs in the disease treatment market. Also, the company has been operating business in the field of medical device like HA Filler, tissue restoration material and wound healing agents and biopharmaceuticals like botulinum toxin strain type A for aesthetic purpose. Currently, the company has been establishing manufacturing facility for pharmaceutical of oral dosage form and injectables.

More information about the company can be found at https://www.bnckorea.co.kr

BNC Korea Co., Ltd is based in Daegu and Seoul in Korea. Manufacturing site is located at Daegu and Sejong city of Korea.

Stevanato announced in their industrial plan for 2020 – 2023 that they intend to invest almost Euro 400 million in manufacturing and R&D programs for drug delivery systems. A share of this investment will be allocated to the manufacturing of ICOcap®. This update follows the announcement May 27 that ICOcap® received a CE-mark.

Stevanato also recently launched a new product site to increase the visibility of ICOcap® underlining its position as an important product for the future, where Iconovo is featured as a service provider for customizations and formulation services.

To find the press release for Stevanato’s industrial plan: https://www.stevanatogroup.com/news-events/press-releases/stevanato-group-planned-investments-under-the-2020-2023-industrial-plan-about-400-million-euros-to-finance-the-company-development/

To find Stevanato’s new ICOcap® site: https://www.stevanatogroup.com/drug-delivery-devices/icocap/

To read more about the CE-mark of ICOcap®: https://iconovo.se/capsule-inhaler-icocap-from-iconovo-ce-marked-for-clinical-trials/

2020 has been a year of intellectual property expansion for dry powder inhaler developer Iconovo

Much of that expansion has come within Sweden and the EU, but recently the company has received the notice of intention to grant a patent from the Chinese Patent Agency regarding Iconovo’s reservoir-based inhalation device, ICOres. The new patent will protect the technology used in many of Iconovo’s projects like the project concerning a generic version of Symbicort.

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Today, Iconovo released a briefing document on its homepage covering the market opportunity, patent situation, ICOpre® product features and partnering strategy

The objective is to be transparent to customers and investors regarding Iconovo’s perception of this product opportunity.

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The Chinese Patent Agency has announced the intention to grant a patent regarding Iconovo’s inhalation device, ICOres

Iconovo has previously granted patents in Sweden, Europe (ERPO) and Japan. The new patent covers the technology used in many of Iconovo’s projects like generic Symbicort©.

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Iconovo’s expertise in developing inhalers and inhalation platforms for treating respiratory diseases has been key to generating several important collaborations. The latest comes in the form of a research partnership with Biofilms – Research Center for Biointerfaces at Malmö University and Swedish biotech Nanologica to develop an inhalation platform based on porous drug carriers. The collaboration could result in a breakthrough in inhalation therapy.

The lung infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause Tuberculosis (TB), is estimated to lead to 5,000 deaths each day, globally. In treating the disease, one of the major therapeutic challenges is to deliver a sufficiently high dose of the medication to the infected area of the lungs. In most cases, inhalation therapies are recommended, but reaching high enough doses is still an issue.

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Projektet Porösa läkemedelsbärare för inhalerbara terapier har nyligen startat upp

Det är finansierat av KK-stiftelsen och är ett samarbete mellan Biofilms – Research Center for Biointerfaces på Malmö Universitet, Iconovo AB och Nanologica AB. Nästa steg är att rekrytera en post doc. Iconovo kommer att bidra med sina egenutvecklade torrpuverinhalatorer (DPIs), inhalationsdevice, karakteriseringar av inhalationsberedningar liksom sin generella expertis inom inhalerade läkemedel.

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Iconovo’s strong start to 2020 shows no signs of slowing down as we approach summer. The company just added a CE marking to the list of reached milestones, making the company’s capsule-based dry powder inhaler ICOcap authorized for use in clinical trials by European customers. BioStock takes a closer look.

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