research & development

NJ Shines at BIO International

This week’s BIO International Convention gave leaders from New Jersey’s vast life sciences ecosystem the chance to show emerging companies the advantages of establishing themselves within the state, such as its ideal location on the Eastern seaboard and the large number of pharmaceutical giants that currently call the state “home.”

“The Garden State is truly the best place to start a biopharmaceutical company,” New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Melissa Orsen said. “Thirteen of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies maintain headquarters or major operations here, which leads to increased partnerships between established and growing pharmaceutical companies, and helps the smaller companies position themselves on the world stage.”

One example of an early-stage company using its location in New Jersey to thrive is Enteris BioPharma, of Boonton, which had the opportunity to showcase its innovative technology on the global stage at the BIO International Convention.

During a presentation, Enteris CEO Joel Tune touted the company’s corporate growth strategy and its focus on developing orally delivered peptide therapeutics through its proprietary Peptelligence™ platform; these would otherwise need to be delivered by injection for a variety of indications, such as diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders. Since its founding in 2013, Enteris BioPharma has advanced multiple internal and external programs leveraging its Peptelligence™ platform. Enteris’ internal pipeline consists of Ovarest™ (oral leuprolide tablet), an oral peptide for endometriosis, and Tobrate™ (oral tobramycin tablet) for the treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infection.

Enteris also provides its oral drug-delivery technologies to biopharmaceutical companies of all sizes, ensuring development and execution of a robust formulation strategy, and fully-optimized manufacturing practices for clinical trial materials. In January 2017, Enteris entered high-profile partnerships with KeyBioScience AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nordic Bioscience, to develop solutions for metabolic disorders; Sanofi to develop investigational oral therapeutics for Type 2 Diabetes; and, Ferring Pharmaceuticals to create an oral formulation of a peptide-based injectable therapeutic that Ferring is developing. Sanofi and Ferring Pharmaceuticals each maintain a significant presence in New Jersey.

Locating in New Jersey enables Enteris to take advantage of the State’s unique programs aimed at assisting early-stage companies as they grow. Enteris participated in the State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program for the first time in 2016. Administered by the EDA and the New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s Division of Taxation, the NOL Program allows eligible technology and life sciences companies to sell unused New Jersey net operating losses and research and development tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations.

Since the program’s inception in the late 1990s, more than 500 technology and biotechnology companies have shared a total of $905 million through the program. Companies wishing to participate in the 2017 NOL program have until June 30 to apply. Details and the application can be found at

@NJEDATech asked Tune about his company’s experience in New Jersey and its plans for the future:

Why did Enteris choose to grow here in New Jersey?
New Jersey remains an ideal location for our company because of the abundance of pharmaceutical companies and talent it offers. A key aspect of Enteris’ business is identifying and securing partnership opportunities with leading pharmaceutical companies that have interest in leveraging our PeptelligenceTM platform to develop orally delivered peptide therapeutics. Our recent agreements with Sanofi and Ferring Pharmaceuticals are emblematic of the opportunity that New Jersey offers Enteris.

What did your company find most valuable about the NOL Program?
The NOL Program was an important catalyst for Enteris as it provided financing that enabled us to advance our internal pipeline and propel our overall growth strategy. In general, the NOL Program is a very valuable resource offered by the State of New Jersey which allows emerging biotechnology companies to obtain some much-needed liquidity for growth or advancement of the business.

What is Enteris’ biggest success to date?
2017 has been a watershed year for Enteris and is highlighted by the “licensing triumvirate,” or trifecta, that we announced in January involving separate agreements with Sanofi, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and KeyBioscience AG for our PeptelligenceTM platform. These agreements served to showcase the value potential of PeptelligenceTM and catapult Enteris’ visibility as a go-to partner for those companies seeking to develop oral tablet versions of peptide therapeutics.

What’s on the horizon for your company? 
This has already been a very successful year for Enteris, but we have much on the horizon, including important advances with our internal products, Ovarest™ and Tobrate™. We also hope to see positive developments from our licensing partners and expect to secure opportunities with additional companies that have interest in our Peptelligence™ platform.

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