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orloff
Alexion's Orloff, Head of Research inks his first licensing deal.

NEW HAVEN: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. [Nasdaq:ALXN] has entered into what can be a hundreds of millions of dollar licensing deal for drugs by Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. [Nasdaq:HALO] a relatively small public biotech based in San Diego.

The agreement provides Alexion with the opportunity for “exclusive development of up to four targets, including a next generation subcutaneous formulation of ALXN1210," the company’s next generation [in development] replacement of Soliris, Alexion’s flagship drug.

Alexion will pay $40 million up front and potentially as much as $160 million for each of the four targeted therapies dependent on sales and regulatory milestones.

The Halozyme technology potentially could extend the dosing interval of ALXN1210 SC to once every two weeks or once per month. Currently Soliris is typically infused every week for five weeks and then every two weeks.

Subcutaneous formulations are considered less “invasive” than infusions, John Orloff, M.D., Executive Vice President and Head of Research & Development at Alexion, said “we look forward to utilizing ENHANZE technology, which enables rapid injection of subcutaneous treatments and potentially increases bioavailablity, in our development programs.”

While the licensed drug would potentially strengthen Alexion from ptential non-infusion competitors in development, the market continues to punish the stock, which traded at under $106 per share down from $149 less than three months ago, when the company announced a workforce reduction, and a headquarters move to Boston.