Licensing agreement formalizes drug delivery technology partnership

By Maggie Lynch

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Duncan Anderson)
(Image: Getty/Duncan Anderson)

Related tags: Enteris, Cara Therapeutics, Korsuva

Enteris enters a licensing agreement with Cara Therapeutics for the ongoing development of the latter’s drug candidate as it continues clinical trials.

Cara Therapeutics will have a license to use Enteris’ Peptelligence technology as it continues to develop an oral formulation of its KOR agonist, Korsuva (CR845/difelikefalin). Peptelligence is a proprietary platform from Enteris for the oral delivery of peptides and BCS class II, III, and IV small molecules.

The oral tablet formulation of Korsuva was engineered with Peptelligence under a feasibility agreement between Enteris and Cara, and this recent licensing agreement formalizes the company’s partnership.

A spokesperson for Enteris told us, “Evidence continues to mount suggesting that Peptelligence not only offers the ability to maximize the performance and patient acceptance of peptide- and small-molecule based therapeutics, but that an entire franchise could be developed around our technology.”

According to the spokesperson, Cara uses the Peptelligence technology to enable the oral delivery of the active ingredient in Korsuva, which is then converted into an oral tablet with a specific coating to prevent the drug from degrading in the digestive tract. With this technology and delivery system, the medication’s active ingredients are release and absorbed through the intestinal wall.

Korsuva is currently in three Phase II clinical trials for puritis in patients with hepatic impairment due to primary biliary cholangitis, stage III-V chronic kidney disease, and atopic dermatitis.

Per the licensing agreement, Cara will be able to continue to use its oral Korsuva programs in Phase III trials and beyond. Enteris has granted Cara a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license to the Peptelligence technology for the company to develop, manufacture, and commercialize Korsuva worldwide, excluding Japan and South Korea.

Enteris will receive an upfront payment of $8m (€7.2m), with 50% provided in cash and 50% in Cara’s common stock. Cara will pay Enteris additional payments for milestones, and low-single digit royalties based on net sales in the licensed territory.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cara retains the right to buy-out the royalty obligation for a period of two years.

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