Seelos Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SEEL) is buying the worldwide license (excluding China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong) from iX Biopharma Ltd (iX Biopharma) for Wafermine, a sublingual racemic ketamine wafer, and a worldwide license for other sublingual ketamine wafers, delivered using a proprietary fast-dissolving wafer-based drug delivery platform technology known as WaferiX. Seelos said it is paying roughly $9 million in cash and stocks. Seelos said it plans to evaluate the sublingual ketamine, now named SLS-003, in pain indications such as chronic neuropathic pain and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and in additional psychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The company also said in a statement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Wafermine Orphan Drug designation for the treatment of CRPS.
“Our licensing of this new program broadens Seelos’ ketamine franchise with a formulation that we believe will be more suitable for chronic dosing in indications like CRPS and PTSD, which are both very difficult indications to treat effectively,” said Raj Mehra, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Seelos. “The pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and safety profiles of SLS-003 that have been demonstrated to date suggest a formulation with the potential of being prescribed with less restrictions than current formulations. Our team is very excited to be developing both acute, in SLS-002, and a potentially chronic, in SLS-003, ketamine-based therapy programs. We look forward to initiating studies with SLS-003 in 2022 and our recent capital raises have accounted for the expected development costs for initiating studies.”
Eddy Lee, Chairman and CEO of iX Biopharma added, “We are delighted to collaborate with Seelos Therapeutics, whose deep insights in ketamine drug development make them an ideal partner to further the development of Wafermine and the other sublingual ketamine products,” said . “Licensing our WaferiX-based pharmaceutical drugs to suitable third parties for development and commercialization is a core strategy to unlock the value of our assets. We are therefore excited that this commercially significant agreement with Seelos is a validation of our ability to deliver on this strategy.”
$20 Million Note
In addition to the acquisition, Seelos announced the placement of a $22 million senior secured convertible note and shares of Seelos common stock to Lind Global Asset Management V, LLC, managed by The Lind Partners, a New York institutional fund manager and an existing investor in Seelos. Seelos will receive $20.0 million in gross proceeds. Seelos said it plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes and to advance the development of its product candidates.
“2021 has been a volatile year for the biotech sector and this financial commitment from the team at Lind further strengthens our balance sheet and provides for additional future funding,” said Raj Mehra, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Seelos. “The team at Lind has been a terrific partner for us and their creative and innovative funding solutions are thoughtfully and strategically designed to fit the needs of their partners. We are proud to once again work together, and we look forward to the continued execution of our ongoing and future studies.”