Innoviva Snaps Up Remaining Entasis Shares, High Potential Assets


Burlingame, CA-based Innoviva is buying all of Waltham, MA-based Entasis Therapeutics' available shares at $2.20 per share. Currently, Innoviva owns about 60% of Entasis’ outstanding shares.

Innoviva calls itself a “diversified holding company with a portfolio of royalties and a growing portfolio of innovative healthcare assets.” Its royalty portfolio is partnered with GlaxoSmithKline and includes Relvar/Breo Ellipta, Anoro Elllipta and Trelegy Ellipta. Relvar/Breo is for COPD and asthma; Anoro and Trelegy are both for COPD. On Apr. 22, Innoviva reported first-quarter financials, with royalties having increased by 5% to $93.5 million in the first quarter. It also noted it had invested $45 million into Armata Pharmaceuticals, which is focused on anti-infectives.

Armata reported today that it had dosed the first patient in its Phase Ib/IIa trial of AP-SA02 for adults with bacteremia from Staphylococcus aureus infections. In June 2020, the company was awarded $15 million from the U.S. Department of Defense through the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) managed by the Naval Medical Research Center with funding from the Defense Health Agency and Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program, to evaluate AP-SA02 as an adjunct to best available antibiotic treatment.

Like Armata, Entasis Therapeutics focuses on anti-infectives, specifically antibacterial therapies. The company recently presented data from its pivotal Phase III Attack trial of P628 Sulbactam-durlobactam (SUL-DUR) in Acinetobacter infections compared to colistin, both in combination with imipenem/cilastatin.

The trial had two parts. Part A studied SUL-DUR versus colistin and demonstrated a non-inferiority margin of 20% in ABC hospital-acquired pneumonia, ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia, ventilated pneumonia, or bacteremia. Part B was an open-label study of SUL-DUR only in patients with ABC infections who did not tolerate colistin/polymyxin B or whose pathogens were resistant to colistin/polymyxin B.

Entasis’s pipeline also includes Zoliflodacin for uncomplicated gonorrhea; ETX0282CPDP for complicated urinary tract infections; and ETX0462 for Gram-negative infections, initially multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas. It expects to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for the drug to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the third quarter of this year.

Entasis was established in 2015 as a spin-out from AstraZeneca.

“This acquisition will build upon our overall strategy to acquire differentiated, high-potential assets in attractive, yet often overlooked, disease areas where our capital and capabilities can make a difference,” Pavel Raifeld, Innoviva’s chief executive officer, said. "This transaction represents the next phase in our efforts to diversify our operations beyond our valuable royalty portfolio and will create significant value for patients, health systems and shareholders.”

He went on to say, “We look forward to working with the Entasis team to advance sulbactam-durlobactam (SUL-DUR) and its broader novel antibacterial pipeline to address the urgent and serious threat posed by multidrug-resistant pathogens. Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter infections are an area of significant unmet medical need and, if approved by regulators, SUL-DUR could become the leading treatment for this disease.”

Innoviva began investing in the company in 2020. The $2.20 per share is a 50% premium to Entasis’ closing price of $1.47 per share set on Jan. 31.

Entasis CEO Manos Perros said, “We are pleased that Innoviva recognizes the significant potential of our R&D pipeline and talented team, who have made great progress advancing our precision antibacterial programs to address serious unmet needs in treating multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections. We believe that Innoviva is the ideal organization to maximize the value of our pipeline and accelerate our ability to bring novel antibacterial therapies to patients.”

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