Congratulations to our portfolio company Delpor for receiving a new grant award from the National Institute of Mental Health. The purpose of the grant is to develop a 3-month formulation of olanzapine (brand name ZYPREXA®). Olanzapine is one of the most widely prescribed antipsychotics (similar to risperidone). It is marketed by Eli Lilly, and it reached over $4 billion in sales (oral formulation) before its patent expired in 2011.
“The lack of a safe long-acting olanzapine alternative, creates a tremendous opportunity for us, so we started experimenting with the drug last year. The grant will provide us with resources to pursue this project.”
– Tassos Nicolaou, President and CEO of Delpor Inc.
Long-acting antipsychotics provide substantial benefits to patients and caregivers by improving medication adherence. Currently, the only available long acting formulation of olanzapine is Zyprexa® Relprevv™, a 2-4 week depot injection. However, the adoption of this product has been very limited due to concerns regarding its safety and efficacy. Zyprexa® Relprevv™ carries the risk of post-injection delirium/sedation syndrome, a serious condition which includes heavy sedation, coma, and delirium after injection. Patients need to be observed for 3 hours post-injection in a healthcare facility with emergency response services, and be accompanied from the facility to their destination.
“The lack of a safe long-acting olanzapine alternative, creates a tremendous opportunity for us, so we started experimenting with the drug last year,” said Tassos Nicolaou, President and CEO of Delpor Inc. “The grant will provide us with resources to pursue this project. Furthermore, much of the corresponding work is very complementary to our risperidone program, allowing us to explore synergies and improve development efficiency.”
We are very excited about this potential new opportunity for Delpor and wish Tassos and his team best of luck in successfully meeting their goals in this Phase 1 proof of concept stage.