Jordanian drugmaker in dispute with FDA over generics
Hikma invests in diabetes biosensor start-up
Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Jordan’s largest drug-maker, is investing in US-based biosensor technology firm Biolinq, as the firm looks to lessen its dependence on its generics business line.
Biolinq manufactures wirelessly-enabled biosensor patches that can continuously monitor multiple biomarkers. The company’s first commercial product allow patients with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels in a minimally-invasive way.
London-listed Hikma, which joined the FTSE-100 index in 2015 participated in a US$10 million funding round for Biolinq via its Hikma Ventures arm, in conjunction with M Ventures, the venture capital arm of US-pharmaceuticals company Merck.
“Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting millions of people worldwide, with a high prevalence in the Middle East and North Africa,” said Lana Ghanem, Managing Director of Hikma Ventures.
“We enjoyed working alongside the M Ventures team on closing this investment and we look forward to working with the Biolinq team and our other co-investors to bring this technology to patients.”
The Biolinq investment occurs against the backdrop of Hikma’s difficulties with its generics business, which accounts for around a third of its sales.
The company cut its end of year forecast for its generics business earlier this month, citing regulatory challenges in the US, with such difficulties persisting into 2018.
Hikma said that it is in dispute with the US Food and Drug Administration over its plans to launch a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s popular lung drug Advair. The dispute process is due to be completed in the first quarter of next year.