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In Focus: Evestra Inc. spreading its wings in San Antonio
January 24, 2014

Evestra Inc.'s Ze'ev Shaked says company poised for growth. (Courtesy Evestra Inc.)

By W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal

Evestra Inc. has reached a pivotal point in its evolution.

Armed with a new international partnership, the San Antonio bioscience company is preparing to move its headquarters into a larger space and to launch a new round of fundraising.

These latest moves will give Evestra greater room to operate, more global exposure for its medical technologies and additional capital to support further expansion - all of which bodes well for San Antonio and its push to become a bigger player in the bioscience arena.

Evestra, which is focusing on women's health and wellness technologies and devices, has entered into a partnership with Budapest-based international pharmaceutical company Gedeon Richter. As part of the deal, Evestra will receive up-front payments for research, as well as early-development funding. The Alamo City company will perform certain research and development activities in the women's health products market. Gedeon Richter will receive commercialization rights for certain Evestra products outside the U.S.

"This is an important opportunity in the making," says Ze'ev Shaked, Ph.D., president and CEO of Evestra, about the collaborative agreement with Gedeon Richter. "It provides us with outside validation for our platform technologies. This deal will incorporate two of those technologies - the medicinal chemistry of steroid compounds and our drug-delivery technology (the vaginal ring) based on hot-melt extrusion.

"... We anticipate additional collaborations of this kind for other women's health (technology platforms) in the not too distant future."

While Evestra pursues opportunities with Gedeon Richter, the company is preparing to relocate its 5,000-square-foot headquarters from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute campus to the Texas Research Park on the far West Side, where it will gain about 2,000 additional square feet of space.

"We could have stayed at the campus of Texas Biomed for a longer time," Shaked says. "But this (Gedeon Richter deal) provided us an opportunity to close discussions we have had for some time with Texas Research Park about moving to that campus."

Evestra is also preparing to launch another funding round and hopes to raise $2.5 million in additional capital from local investors.

"We are relying on enthusiastic and committed investors from the San Antonio community who care about this city and care about nurturing local talent and success," Shaked explains. "I'm optimistic that we will be successful. These additional funds will be used to accelerate our development."


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