[Company Profile] Altea Therapeutics

test_tubesBy William McKeever, Senior Research Analyst

One of the more impressive companies at the IN3 West conference was Altea Therapeutics, an Atlanta-based clinical stage company involved in drug delivery. The CEO, Eric Tomlinson, who has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry with experieince at such companies as Novartis, gave the presentation.

The company is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company with a proprietary platform technology, the Passport System. This system allows for the transdermal delivery of water-soluble and low weight biological drugs that would usually be administered by needle injection or infusion. The patch technology works as follows: the patch delivers thermal energy that creates tiny micro channels in the skin that serve as a pathway into the body. The drug in the patch passes through these small micro channels into the patient’s system. In short, the delivery system eliminates the need for painful needle injections. This patch goes beyond normal patches today because it can deliver proteins and carbohydrates.

The company is well positioned for exciting growth for a host of reasons. The company has agreements with Lilly and Hospira. With the former, the patch can deliver Byetta (diabetes) and with the latter, the patch can deliver Lovenox (deep vein thrombosis). These deals involve royalties to Altea based on sales milestones. One highly attractive aspect of the company is that the company should be cash flow neutral throughout 2010 and profitable in 2011.

Manangement expects to work on other drugs using its patch to deliver other blockbuster drugs. The company expects to submit its first FDA for product approval in late 2013. The company is in the final stages of a private equity round.

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