AntriaBio reviving PR Pharmaceuticals’ diabetes drug

LOUISVILLE – AntriaBio Inc. is setting up shop in Louisville this week, hoping to resurrect a basal insulin product that originally was being developed by shuttered Fort Collins-based PR Pharmaceuticals Inc.

AntriaBio’s chief executive Nevan Elam said Monday that his company is moving equipment into a 27,000-square-foot leased space at 1450 Infinite Drive.

The company’s corporate headquarters is in Menlo Park, Calif., but that consists only of Elam. All operations, including research and development and manufacturing, will be conducted in Louisville, which could mean up to 30 new jobs at the site as the company ramps up over the next year.

AntriaBio’s lead product candidate is AB101, a once-a-week basal insulin for the treatment of Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. The company’s process for the product attaches a polymer to the insulin molecule that leads to a change in solubility of the insulin, helping allow for a slow, steady release. That’s a change from similar products on the market today that are taken once or twice daily.

“It could be a game-changer,” Elam said.

AntriaBio (OTCQB: ANTB) secured $11 million in equity financing from a private placement earlier this year. The company purchased the intellectual property and assets of PR Pharmaceuticals last year after that company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 and eventually went out of business. PR had been conducting animal trials with AB101 before the product went dormant with the bankruptcy, Elam said.

AntriaBio is using much of PR’s old equipment, and has brought on board PR’s former chief scientific officer to fill the same role in Louisville.

Elam said AntriaBio is planning for additional animal studies this year before taking AB101 into clinical trials next year.

“This is the rebirth of it after those stagnate four years,´ said Elam, who noted that AntriaBio will try to branch out with some other products over time.

Elam said he explored locations up and down the Front Range for AntriaBio’s manufacturing and lab facility, including Fort Collins. He said the space in Louisville, formerly occupied by Replidyne Inc., was already outfitted for pharmaceutical use. He also liked the proximity to Denver and access for employees coming from both the north and south.

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