United Therapeutics (UTHR) has collaborated with Ascendis Pharma to develop a self-injectable treprostinil molecule, the active ingredient in Remodulin (treprostinil) injection, for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Ascendis Pharma’s TransCon technology platform, which enables the transient conjugation of small molecules to provide time-controlled drug release, will be applied to UTHR’s treprostinil molecule.

United Therapeutics chairman and CEO Dr Martine Rothblatt said; "The potential to bring another novel therapeutic option to PAH patients represents an exciting new opportunity for Remodulin delivery as we constantly re-charge our mission to better the lives of patients suffering from PAH."

With the technology, UTHR anticipates establishing a self-injectable alternative for PAH patients who are currently using the drug through a continuous infusion pump.

The agreement also allows United Therapeutics to gain exclusive rights to develop prostacyclin, prostacyclin analogue and prostacyclin-related products as PAH therapies leveraging the TransCon technology, and retain worldwide commercial rights to products resulting from the collaboration.

United Therapeutics president and chief operating officer Dr Roger Jeffs said pre-clinical studies in multiple animal models with a lead compound of TransCon-linked treprostinil have already demonstrated a sustained release profile, supportive of once-daily injection.

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"The application of TransCon technology to treprostinil may also minimise injection site pain and reactions that frequently occur with continuously infused subcutaneous Remodulin," Jeffs said.