KeyBioscience taps Enteris to create oral metabolic peptide

lab researcher
Enteris will create three oral tablet prototypes for KeyBioscience

KeyBioscience has turned to Enteris BioPharma for help creating oral formulations of a metabolic peptide. The company, a subsidiary of Nordic Bioscience, sees the peptide as a potential treatment for conditions including diabetes and obesity.

Enteris, which unveiled an oral diabetes pact with Sanofi earlier this week, started working with KeyBioscience in 2013. Then, as now, the idea was to apply Enteris’ Peptelligence platform to make oral formulations of metabolic peptides with the potential to treat diabetes and obesity. What has changed is the identity of the molecule being worked on, a spokesperson for Enteris said.

Having penned the pact, Enteris will work to create three oral tablet prototypes of the molecule now being focused on by KeyBioscience. Danish CRO Nordic Bioscience created KeyBioscience to develop family of metabolic peptides. Nordic Bioscience has since posted preclinical data on a subcutaneous formulation of a dual amylin-calcitonin receptor agonist it thinks may boost insulin sensitivity and reduce weight. But oral formulations remain central to its plans.

“The ability to deliver our proprietary DACRA peptides orally offers KeyBioscience the potential to bring to market a new therapeutic choice for the treatment of metabolic disorders, which is a significant market opportunity,” Nordic Bioscience CEO Morten Karsdal said in a statement. “An oral delivery using Enteris's Peptelligence platform and manufacturing capabilities will be a value driver and a key to success.”

Enteris has also signed up to provide the finished drug product for use in preclinical testing and proof-of-concept clinical research.

The original deal with KeyBioscience provided an early boost for Enteris, which at that time had only been operating for a handful of months. Enteris emerged in 2013 from the wreckage of Unigene Laboratories, a firm that existed for decades and once licensed a drug to GlaxoSmithKline, only to come crashing down when regulatory attitudes to calcitonin-based drugs soured.

Enteris is now some way to rehabilitating Unigene’s technology. Most notably, Sanofi is working with Enteris to see if Peptelligence can turn its preclinical Type 2 diabetes peptides into viable oral formulations.