Amgen and Entera Bio are partnering up to develop new treatments for inflammatory disease and certain other serious illnesses using the Entera drug discovery program. The platform will be used to develop oral formulations for one pre-clinical large molecule program which Amgen has selected. Entera’s CEO said the collaboration would be an important validation test of the platform technology.

The platform, which uses a mix of a synthetic absorption enhancer and protease inhibitors, is made to address two problems with current oral delivery of large-molecule drugs: Poor absorption into the bloodstream due to enzyme degradation within the gastrointestinal tract and poor permeability through the intestinal wall.

In the deal, Amgen will oversee clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialisation of the programs which stem from the collaboration. Entera will retain intellectual property rights to its drug delivery technology, which is being licensed to Amgen exclusively for Amgen’s nominated drug targets. Amgen will retain all rights to its large molecules and any subsequent improvements.