Gedeon Richter Takes Stake in Women’s Health Drug Maker Evestra

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio—Evestra, a San Antonio life science company that develops women’s health products, has a new shareholder: pharmaceutical firm Gedeon Richter, a long-time partner based in Budapest, Hungary.

Gedeon, which recorded revenue of 1.25 billion euro ($1.32 billion) in 2016, has had a licensing partnership with Evestra for about six years. In 2015, Gedeon provided Evestra with a $5 million loan that could be repaid with interest or converted into an equity stake for Gedeon, which also makes women’s health products. Evestra announced today that Gedeon now owns an undisclosed amount of equity in the Texas firm.

Evestra originally used the funding from the loan to work on treatments for conditions including endometriosis and fibroids, which both affect the uterus. The company also has been developing a generic version of the NuvaRing birth control product, which Evestra hopes to bring to market in 2019 with the U.S. division of Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.

A subsidiary of Evestra, Poland-based Evestra Onkologia Sp., received a $4.6 million grant a year ago to develop an experimental drug for endometriosis, a painful condition related to abnormal growth of tissue, which normally lines the uterus, outside of the womb. The grant funding came from the Polish National Centre for Research and Development and the European Union Regional Development Fund.

Meanwhile, Evestra also announced today that it has completed the construction of a 12,900-square-foot headquarters and multi-product manufacturing facility in Schertz, TX, which is just north of San Antonio. The company has 28 employees in the U.S., Poland, and Germany.