Covidien Ltd. and BioSynthema Inc. yesterday announced they will join forces to develop and commercialize a nuclear medicine therapy for neuroendocrine cancer patients. 

Under the terms of an exclusive license agreement, BioSynthema, a drug discovery and development company with facilities in St. Louis and Amsterdam, will develop and manufacture the new targeted radionuclide therapy product. Covidien, a St. Louis-based imaging products provider, will be responsible for worldwide marketing, sales and distribution.

The agreement specifically grants BioSynthema access to Covidien proprietary peptide technology, allowing BioSynthema to use it in conjunction with its own technology and proprietary clinical research.  A separate agreement stipulates that Covidien will have sole marketing rights to the resulting cancer therapy technology.

The new technology involves a radiolabeled peptide that targets specific somatostatin receptors on neuroendocrine cancer cells. 

Covidien and BioSynthema intend to pursue marketing authorization initially in the United States and Europe.