Cambridge’s Enumeral Filed for Bankruptcy, Sells Assets to Bay Area’s XOMA
By Alex Keown
It’s the end of the road for Cambridge, Mass.-based Enumeral Biomedical.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection and is selling its assets Bay Area-based Xoma Corporation for $1.6 million. Enumeral disclosed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and potential asset sale in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the filing, Xoma has already provided Enumeral with a deposit of $160,000.
Enumeral, which has been plagued by financial concerns for some time, announced in May 2017 that it was rapidly running out of cash. At the time the company reported that it only had enough funds to finance operations into June. In its disclosure, Enumeral said if not additional funds could be raised it would be forced to cut its staff of 10 and “wind down its operations through liquidation, bankruptcy, or a sale of its assets.” In May, the company had about $1.6 million cash on hand. By the end of June, Enumeral had about $567,000 cash on hand, according to its financial reports. Then in August, the company said it was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders to wind down operations.
Also in August, Enumeral was kicked out of its Cambridge offices for failing to meet financial obligations with its landlord. Enumeral was leasing 16,825 square feet of laboratory and office space
Enumeral now has two employees overseeing the sale of the assets to Xoma. The Boston Business Journal, which has tracked the decline of Enumeral for some time, reported the two managers are currently working without pay.
The assets being sold to Xoma include an antibody discovery and development programs that target the checkpoint proteins PD-1, OX40 and Lag3. Antibodies targeting PD-1, OX40 and Lag-3 may also have application in inflammatory, autoimmune and infectious diseases, in addition to cancer, according to company data. Enumeral never took its programs into clinical trials. The company said it completed initial preclinical programs in 2015 and has been looking for partnerships to advance its developments.
The Journal noted that in one filing Enumeral’s attorneys said it sought a number of “potential deals” to save the company and keep it operating, but was unsuccessful. It is unclear if the development agreement Enumeral and the International Consortium on Anti-Virals (ICAV) struck in the spring of 2017 is still active. The two companies struck a developmental agreement to use Enumeral’s drug discovery platform to pursue an infectious disease collaboration. The goal of the collaboration is to isolate and characterize high affinity, broadly neutralizing human antibodies against select human pathogens from patients previously infected or vaccinated for therapeutic intervention, prophylaxis, and/or diagnostic utility. With ownership of the platform shifting to Xoma, it is possible the deal could shift, but as of yet, that is only speculation.
Although Enumeral has filed for bankruptcy, its stock is still active. Shares are currently down about 8 percent to 16 cents per share.