SWK Acquires Oral Drug-Delivery Specialist Enteris BioPharma for $21.5 Million

By Emily Forster -

August 29, 2019

SWK Holdings Corporation, a life-science specialty finance company, has acquired Enteris BioPharma, a company specializing in oral peptide drug-delivery technology, for $21.5 million. SWK acquired Enteris BioPharma from Victory Park Capital through its subsidiary, SWK Acquisition Corporation.

Enteris will operate as an independent wholly owned subsidiary of SWK, led by its existing management team. Enteris will continue to focus on the advancement of external partnerships built around Peptelligence, its oral peptide drug-delivery technology, as well as its internal 505(b)(2) drug development pipeline. The 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway under the US Food and Drug Administration is a type of new drug application submission that can be used to obtain the approval of a new drug that contains similar active ingredients to a previously approved drug and is used for changes in dosage form, strength, route of administration, formulation, dosing regimen, or new indication.

SWK and Enteris will split economic proceeds from the recently announced (August 2019) license agreement with Cara Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, under which Enteris received $8 million as an upfront payment for a non-exclusive license to its Peptelligence technology for Cara to develop and commercialize Cara’s Korsuva (difelikefalin), a drug to treat moderate-to-severe chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (itching). SWK will receive 60% of the first milestone payment. SWK will receive 25% of all other milestone and license-related payments until Enteris receives aggregate consideration totaling $32.75 million, inclusive of SWK’s payment to Enteris at closing plus the upfront payment received pursuant to the Cara license, but excluding the first milestone. Thereafter, SWK and Enteris will split the Cara license revenue 50/50.

Under the agreement, if Enteris’ two most advanced 505(b)(2) products are out-licensed, SWK will receive 40% of any license or sales proceeds until Enteris receives $3.0 million per asset, after which time SWK will receive 70% of all such future license proceeds, per asset. SWK will retain 100% of any manufacturing-related revenues related to these two products. If Enteris’ third-most advanced 505(b)(2) product is out-licensed, SWK will receive 90% of all proceeds. SWK will retain 100% of any manufacturing-related revenue related to this product.

Enteris has also identified additional molecules currently available to patients in injectable-only formulations that may similarly be appropriate to be converted to patent-protected oral therapeutics utilizing Peptelligence. Enteris says SWK will selectively fund the internal pipeline to achieve milestones while also pursuing a parallel path of asset-level funding via external financing sources.

Enteris currently has relationships with seven pharmaceutical companies. Of these, three companies have entered licensing agreements with Enteris for its Peptelligence technology, including the recently announced licensing agreement with Cara. Enteris says the four other companies are in varying stages of feasibility and development work involving Peptelligence-enabled products.

Source: Enteris BioPharma