An API firm with a history of J&J funding scores a major loan to advance its portfolio
A Massachusetts-based company that manufactures APIs closed its Series A and B fundraising, with J&J among the list of investors. Now, the company is announcing another $49 million loan to help boost operations.
Entrinsic Bioscience — or EBS — expects to use the loan to fund programs for GI, airway and skin diseases. CEO Stephen Gatto called these programs a “blueprint for serial innovation” in a press release.
The company boasts that it was the first to discover patented combinations of small-molecule amino acids that can modulate targeted epithelial transmembrane proteins through cell signaling. Its first commercialized product is enterade advanced oncology formula, a sugar-free medical food that can help manage side effects from chemotherapy, such as nausea, diarrhea and weight maintenance.
CFO Mario Wanderley had this to say about the deal in a statement:
(This) was made possible by the significant value and broad applications of our intellectual property portfolio, which was subject to great scrutiny and due diligence by our financing partners who concluded that the facility amount represents a fraction of the value of our IP.
EBS also has $40 million from a NASA/BARDA grant that it has used to research protein and ion channel modulation. In October 2020, the company announced that after it secured a patent for a respiratory disease program, specializing in lung complications that are caused by radiation. That patent marked the sixth in the US in the company’s portfolio. Its portfolio also includes efforts in treating acute respiratory distress syndrome — also known as ARDS, cystic fibrosis and allergic rhinitis.
Co-founder Sadasivan Vidyasagar, who is also a University of Florida professor, and Stephen Gatto received the UF “Invention of the Year” award, for their amino-acid technology that targets ARDS. The disease is a major cause of death in Covid-19 patients, as lung inflammation and fluid accumulation can happen after the sodium channel function is impaired. The treatment is an alternative to ventilators, which were of limited availability through the early stages of the pandemic, and can lead to damage in the epithelial barrier.