Oklahoma biotech company charges through partnering session at Boston conference

BY JIM STAFFORD Published: June 22, 2012

It was just more than a month ago that Oklahoma City-based Caisson Biotech LLC signed a developmental license agreement with Novo Nordisk of Denmark that ultimately could be worth more than $100 million.

Founded by University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center researcher and professor Paul DeAngelis, Caisson Biotech developed HEPtuneTM, a heparosan-based drug delivery system, that can be used as a platform in a wide variety of therapeutic areas. Novo Nordisk is a global health care company and leader in diabetes care.

The Novo Nordisk deal is only the beginning for Caisson Biotech, DeAngelis said Wednesday before he and two company executives began their third straight day of intense partnering discussions at the 2012 BIO International Convention.

“Novo Nordisk recognized this is an interesting technology and is now working toward improving three of their drugs using HEPtune,” DeAngelis said. “Now other companies are beginning to contact us, including a number of top-ranked pharmaceutical companies.”

Tuesday, DeAngelis, along with Breca Tracy, the company's director of business development who received her Ph.D. from OU under DeAngelis, and new CEO Glenn Nedwin, made a full presentation to a major pharmaceutical company just across the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass.

“After we executed this agreement I knew it would expand Caisson's horizons,” DeAngelis said. “This platform technology has the potential to be leveraged for a number of existing marketed drugs and new drugs currently in development.”

Caisson Biotech is a portfolio company of Emergent Technologies Inc., an innovation and management firm in Austin, Texas. Emergent also serves as the management firm of three other Oklahoma City-based companies founded upon the scientific research of sugar polymers by DeAngelis.

Emergent management believes Caisson has the potential of becoming a billion-dollar company.

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