VIEWS AND ANALYSIS
Enteris BioPharma | September 13, 2022
Enteris BioPharma, Inc., a biotechnology company developing innovative drug products based on its proprietary delivery technologies, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWK Holdings Corporation announced the publication of a new white paper in Drug Development & Delivery entitled, "Key Considerations in Oral Delivery of Peptides – Factors to Consider While Evaluating Oral Administration."
The paper, authored by John Vrettos, PhD, Director of Formulation Development for Enteris BioPharma, and Kalpana Ramakrishnan, PhD, Manager of Business Development for Enteris BioPharma, explores the barriers to developing oral delivery of peptides and how pharmaceutical companies can overcome them. Oral administration of peptides offers several advantages while treating chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity as they are less invasive and more cost effective compared to injections.
"Molecule size, potency, and solubility are some of the key physicochemical properties that determine a peptide's suitability for oral delivery. The healthcare industry is in need of enabling drug delivery technologies with the capability to overcome barriers in oral delivery of peptides. Importantly, orally delivered medications may encourage patient compliance compared with more invasive approaches to administering drugs. Approximately 75% of peptides are delivered by injective routes, including subcutaneous injections which can be painful and difficult to incorporate into a daily routine."
Dr. Vrettos continued, "Enteris' Peptelligence® platform offers a 'triple-action' solution comprised of our enteric coating, protease inhibitor, and permeation enhancer. When combined, these technologies have demonstrated an ability to improve the solubility and permeation of orally delivered peptides. These properties can potentially enable oral delivery of some peptide drugs for the first time, and we are excited to share our knowledge on oral delivery of peptides through this informative whitepaper."
Peptelligence is a novel formulation technology designed to enhance the oral delivery and bioavailability of selected drugs by enhancing the permeation of such compounds that are typically injected, including peptides and BCS class III and IV small molecules, and preventing their breakdown in the digestive tract.
About Enteris BioPharma
Enteris BioPharma, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWK Holdings Corporation offering total integrated contract development and manufacturing services for innovative formulation solutions utilizing its proprietary drug delivery technologies, Peptelligence® and ProPerma®, and contract manufacturing (CMO) services using non-proprietary technologies. The company's proprietary technologies have been the subject of numerous feasibility studies and active development programs, some of which are in clinical development. Additionally, Enteris BioPharma is advancing an innovative internal product pipeline of drug products that address significant unmet clinical needs for which there is no satisfactory treatment option.
Standigm | August 19, 2022
Standigm Inc. the leading workflow artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery company, announced the appointment of Chief Business Officer Carl Foster. Based in our U.S. office, Foster will be responsible for expanding strategic partnerships for novel drug target discoveries and first-in-class lead candidate identifications.
"Carl has established a reputation for increasing company value. He has significant experience building and growing biotech companies, like Standigm, through creative deal-making. We're confident Carl can help us meet our aggressive goals."
Jinhan Kim, CEO of Standigm
Foster spent over 30 years working for drug and platform technology companies in various areas including genomics, proteomics and antibodies. Throughout his career, he has built a strong track record of business planning, establishing strategic relationships and financial modeling.
Foster began his career with Merck and Co., Inc. where he had spent nine years in business development, marketing, and sales. Most recently, he was executive vice president, business development for Cempra Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he was CEO of Jurilab, a European-based genomics company. Foster has also held vice president-level positions at Nanogen, King Pharmaceuticals, Oxford GlycoSciences and Praecis Pharmaceuticals. In addition, he was general manager of Intracel BV, a Netherlands-based immunology company and managing director of Ferghana Partners, a New York-based investment banking group. Foster holds an MBA in marketing and an M.S. in biochemistry from the University of Kansas.
"Our goal is to shorten the drug discovery process, reduce costs and increase the probability of success by combining the Standigm AI platform with disease-specific data from our strategic partners," said Foster. "I believe combining AI with drug discovery will result in major advances in how we understand diseases and create solutions. Standigm's first-class AI platform is backed by a strong team of biologists, chemists and AI engineers who have collectively created a tremendous opportunity for me. I look forward to helping them build a novel and industry-leading company."
Standigm is a workflow AI-driven drug discovery company headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and subsidiarized in Cambridge, U.K. and Cambridge, MA. Standigm has proprietary AI platforms encompassing novel target identification to compound design, to generate commercially valuable drug pipelines. Founded in 2015, Standigm has established an early-stage drug discovery workflow AI to generate multiple First-in-Class compounds within average seven months. Pursuing full-stack, AI-driven industrializing drug discovery, Standigm has achieved the automation of molecular design workflow, and the automation effort has been expanding to the whole drug discovery process based on Standigm AI platforms, including Standigm ASK™ for novel target discovery, Standigm BEST™ for novel compound generation and Standigm Insight ™ for novel indication.
UCB, Inc. | September 02, 2022
UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it will present 20 abstracts across its dermatology portfolio at the 31st European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Milan, Italy, September 7-10. The abstracts, accepted for poster presentation, underscore UCB's commitment to delivering innovative solutions that aim to address the unmet needs of people living with dermatological diseases.
"We are proud to present new data from our expanding dermatology portfolio at the 31st EADV Congress. At UCB, our ambition is to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and the strength of scientific data at this year's congress reaffirms our long-standing commitment to raising standards of care," said Emmanuel Caeymaex, Executive Vice President, Immunology Solutions and Head of U.S., UCB.
Key data to be presented on UCB's investigational product bimekizumab include new results from the BE BRIGHT open-label extension study evaluating maintenance of response with bimekizumab through three years in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who responded at week 16 during Phase 3 clinical studies. New analysis of pooled safety data from up to three years of treatment with bimekizumab in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis across Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials will also be presented. Bimekizumab is an investigational product; its efficacy and safety have not been established for any indication in the U.S. and it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For CIMZIA® (certolizumab pegol), data to be presented include three-year data from three Phase 3 trials evaluating the association of patient-reported outcomes (Dermatology Life Quality Index, DLQI 0/1) with relative skin clearance improvements (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, PASI) in subgroups of adult patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With approximately 8,600 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of €5.8 billion in 2021. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).
Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | August 22, 2022
Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has expanded its Board of Directors from five to eleven and appointed six new directors following their election at its special meeting of stockholders held on August 15, 2022. The new directors, which were on a nominee slate proposed by Activist Investing LLC are Avraham Ben-Tzvi, Peter L. Chasey, Eric Greenberg, David E. Lazar, Matthew C. McMurdo and David Natan.
In addition, following the Special Meeting, Mr. Lazar was appointed interim Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, with a mandate to lead Titan's continuing review of strategic alternatives. Mr. Lazar succeeds Marc Rubin, M.D., who will no longer serve as Executive Chairman, but will remain on the Board.
"As one of the largest investors in Titan, Activist Investing's goal is to help the Company unlock value for both ourselves and our fellow shareholders through a strategic transaction. I believe the reconstituted Board, which collectively possess decades of experience in pharmaceutical executive leadership, clinical research, strategic turnarounds, deal structuring, corporate governance, investment management, accounting, finance and corporate law, will be a tremendous asset in this endeavor."
Biographies of Newly Elected Directors
Avraham Ben-Tzvi is the Founder of ABZ Law Office, a boutique Israeli law firm specializing in outsourced general counsel services for publicly traded as well as private companies and corporations, Investments & Securities Laws, Commercial Law & Contracts and various civil law matters, which he established in January 2017. Mr. Ben-Tzvi served as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of Purple Biotech Ltd. (formerly Kitov Pharma Ltd.), a clinical-stage company advancing first-in-class therapies to overcome tumor immune evasion and drug resistance, from November 2015 until April 2020. Prior to that, Mr. Ben-Tzvi served as General Counsel and secretary at Medigus Ltd., a minimally invasive endosurgical tools medical device and miniaturized imaging equipment company, from April 2014 until November 2015. Mr. Ben-Tzvi is a member of the Israel Bar Association, and is also licensed as a Notary by the Israeli Ministry of Justice. Prior to that he served as an attorney at one of Israel's leading international law fi
rms where, amongst other corporate and commercial work, he advised companies and underwriters on various offerings by Israeli companies listing in US and on various SEC related filings. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Ben-Tzvi worked in a number of business development, corporate finance and banking roles at companies in the financial services, lithium battery manufacturing and software development industries. Mr. Ben-Tzvi holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics from Yeshiva University in New York and an LLB, magna cum laude with Honors, in from Sha'arei Mishpat College of Law in Hod HaSharon, Israel.
Peter L. Chasey serves as the Owner of Chasey Law Offices, a law practice specializing in personal litigation, business litigation and commercial law, since founding the practice in 2005. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chasey served as staff counsel for one of the largest insurance companies in the world defending general claims against insured businesses and also served as a land surveyor. Mr. Chasey holds a B.S. in Political Science and Government from the University of San Diego and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Eric Greenberg has over 40 years of capital markets experience. As a trader and portfolio manager at hedge funds, his areas of expertise included the development of trading strategies, portfolio management and deal structuring. Mr. Greenberg was Co-Founder of Blink Charging Co., a leader in the EV charging infrastructure industry. In addition, Mr. Greenberg provides investor relation and digital marketing services for companies across a variety of industries, such as life sciences, fintech, internet platforms and others. Mr. Greenberg holds a B.B.A in Finance from Baruch College and an M.B.A. in Finance from Baruch College Zicklin School of Business.
David E. Lazar has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Custodian Ventures LLC, a company which specializes in assisting distressed public companies through custodianship, since February 2018, and Activist Investing LLC, an actively managed investment fund, since March 2018. Previously, Mr. Lazar served as Managing Partner at Zenith Partners International Inc., a boutique consulting firm, from July 2012 to April 2018. In his role as Chief Executive Officer of Custodian Ventures LLC, Mr. Lazar has successfully served as a custodian to numerous public companies across a wide range of industries. Mr. Lazar currently serves as an Advisor to PROMAX Investments LLC, a position he has held since July 2022, and as an Ambassador at Large for the Arab African Council for Integration and Development, since March 2022.
Matthew C. McMurdo currently serves as Managing Member of McMurdo Law Group, LLC, a corporate and securities law practice, since 2010. Previously, Mr. McMurdo was a Partner at Nannarone & McMurdo, LLP, a boutique law firm, from 2008 to 2010. In addition, Mr. McMurdo served as General Counsel of Berkley Asset Management LLC, the general partner of a real estate fund focused on opportunistic and distressed real estate assets, from 2011 to 2013. Mr. McMurdo holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a J.D., cum laude, from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
David Natan currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Natan & Associates, LLC, a consulting firm offering chief financial officer services to public and private companies in a variety of industries, since 2007. In addition, Mr. Natan currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Airborne Motorworks, Inc., a privately-held aerospace transportation company, since April 2020. From February 2010 to May 2020, Mr. Natan served as Chief Executive Officer of ForceField Energy, Inc., a company focused on the solar industry and LED lighting products. From February 2002 to November 2007, Mr. Natan served as Executive Vice President of Reporting and Chief Financial Officer of PharmaNet Development Group, Inc., a drug development services company, and, from June 1995 to February 2002, as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Global Technovations, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of oil analysis instruments and speakers and speaker components. Prior to that, Mr. Na
tan served in various roles of increasing responsibility with Deloitte & Touche LLP, a global consulting firm. Mr. Natan currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Global Diversified Marketing Group, Inc., a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of food and snack products, since February 2021 and serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Sunshine Biopharma, Inc., a pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement company, since February 2022. Previously, Mr. Natan served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of ForceField Energy, Inc., from April 2015 to May 2020, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Global Technovations, Inc., from December 1999 to December 2001. Mr. Natan holds a B.A. in Economics from Boston University.
About Titan Pharmaceuticals
Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. based in South San Francisco, CA, is a development stage company developing proprietary therapeutics with its ProNeura® long-term, continuous drug delivery technology. The ProNeura technology has the potential to be used in developing products for treating a number of chronic conditions, where maintaining consistent, around-the-clock blood levels of medication may benefit the patient and improve medical outcomes. In December 2021, Titan commenced a process to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.