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EastGate (ETBI) Lands $38 Million in Milestone Payments with European Pharmaceutical Consortium

EastGate Biotech (ETBI) announced that it signed a non-dilutive licensing deal with a European consortium of several medium sized drug makers that gives them rights to market the oral insulin mouth rinse to the European market.  The consortium will have a 15 year exclusive license with a 10% royalty payable to ETBI. Nico Innovagroup mentioned that “We are so pleased to partner with EastGate because this agreement gives us the tools to develop the distribution network throughout Europe and allows us to capitalize on long-term existing relationships in manufacturing and distribution.” This definitive license for Europe is likely to be resold and packaged to big pharma as a sublicense from Nico Innovagroup.  What is so important about this is that big pharma will be exposed to this technology through the European channel but this might make its way back to ETBI in the form of other license agreement in other parts of the world.  It seems obvious that Nico Innovagroup is looking to leverage its “long-term existing relationships” so sell sublicenses.

EastGate Lands $38 Million in Milestone Payments with European Pharmaceutical Consortium

  • $38 million in milestone payments
  • Non-dilutive offering at over 200 times current market price
  • Access to big pharma in process
  • Nico Innovagroup invests at close to $1.0 billion valuation

Milestone Payments Up to $38 Million

The definitive agreement had 6 parts to it but the first step illustrates just how inefficient the market is pricing this company.  In the next 60 days or by October 10th Nico Innovagroup is going to put in $2.0 million into EastGate as an investment.  The price is at $1.00 per share. For any investors that missed the preferred language its convertible on a 1 for 1 basis.  That means that what investors can buy in the open market for $10,000 Nico Innovagroup is valuing at $2.0 million. This is essentially an above market offering at over 200 times the current market price.

On the completion of a phase 2 study in the Philippines or any other market they are entitled to another milestone payment of $8.0 million.  This is tantamount to proof of concept which shouldn’t be a difficult bar to cross because we all know that insulin works great in controlling diabetes but will the oral uptake control the glucose levels as anticipated.  This is why they need to do the study but Nico Innovagroup wouldn’t be looking to sell sub-licenses on a drug that didn’t have a reasonably good chance of passing.

Once approved in another market then ETBI gets another $20 million milestone payment to develop EMA regulatory approval.  This could mean that a Philippines approval results in a milestone payment from their European partner. Should the EMA require a much larger study than anticipated then there is a contingency for more money at a price of $.50/share for them to access should the stock not be higher than that allowing them to secure their own funding.  The last hurdle is EMA approval which would earn them another $8.0 million milestone payment. This totals $38 million in non-dilutive financing.

Big Pharma Access

Through its partner Nico Innovagroup, ETBI look like it’s going to be targeting the sweet spot of the market which is the non-compliant patients who are not taking their drugs as prescribed.  ETBI reported that 45% of the type 2 diabetes (T2D) population is non-compliant and a big reason can be attributed to needle phobia. Given the impaired glucose intolerant population is 41 million people in Europe, this translates into 18.45 million people in the target market.  The revenue numbers are staggering if just a little over half of the target patient population was penetrated at 10 million patients assuming a $2000/yr treatment ($5.48/day) works out to a $20 billion dollar market and a $2 billion dollar a year royalty payment in just the European market.  Looking at the numbers in this context its not hard to realize why Nico Innovagroup is investing $2.0 million in ETBI which represents an approximately $1.0 billion dollar valuation. Nico Innovagroup sees these numbers and understands that this is a must have license.


Currently ETBI has close to 1.0 billion shares issued and outstanding.  A significant control block is owned by the two principals of the company that amounts to 500 million shares.  Approximately 350 million shares are in the float and the stock has been trading very sparsely which means liquidity is a serious risk.  The company has very little debt and may or may not have paid down the bridge loan it received in April. There is always the inherent risk that the drug might not work but in this case it is well known that insulin works to control diabetes the question is proving the uptake and the efficacy in the bloodstream through a clinical trial.  The third biggest risk is that the company is not fully reporting and yet to compile their 2017 and 2018 financial reports. Without the current reporting investors have been reticent to buy. Last week ETBI filed Q1 2017 after a protracted switch to a new auditing firm. If the company continues to file more reports and becomes fully reporting the stock should at least trend toward its projected cash value price of $.007/share.

Investor Summary

There is no higher profile disease than diabetes except perhaps cancer.  With so many afflicted with diabetes, it seems that there is a real demand for a simple and alternative approach to insulin delivery currently accomplished through needles.  The company has licensing deals in the Philipines, Packistan, and Europe. It has hinted that they are working on additional regions. The fact that they were able to secure Europe is a major win in credibility.  Now they need to restore investor confidence and get their financials current. If they are able to accomplish that and it clearly seems like they are on the right path this stock has the potential to hit over $.05/share.  With close to $7.0 million due in milestone payments the stock should be worth at least $.007 based on cash and it currently trades at a significant discount to expected cash. ETBI has a very strong licensing strategy and believe it will be a major player in diabetes once is get current and gets discovered.      


Published by Steve Hackney

Steve Hackney is a corporate finance professional with over 14 years of experience in cash management and investing. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Florida State University and holds a Certified Treasury Professional certification. Steve lives in Orlando, Florida with his family.

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