Irish entrepreneur plans to develop a new drug after buying US firm

7 Aug 2018

Image: No-Te Eksarunchai/Shutterstock

Gareth Sheridan’s Nutriband empire in the US continues to grow.

Nutriband, the US-headquartered medtech firm established by Dubliner Gareth Sheridan, has completed its $2.25m acquisition of Atlanta-based 4P Therapeutics.

The takeover of clinical development company 4P Therapeutics gives Nutriband access to develop a new drug called Defent, a specific abuse deterrent technology that aims to reduce the misuse (accidental or otherwise) of opioid-based transdermal medications. (Transdermal refers to the use of patches as a way to deliver medications through the skin.)

Nutriband is an Orlando-headquartered company founded by Terenure native Sheridan, a previous winner of the Best Young Entrepreneur award in the 2014 Bank of Ireland Startup Awards.

The company, which he founded in 2012, is valued at more than $185m and has been on something of an acquisition spree, buying up Carmel Biosciences for $3.8m in June and announcing plans to buy 4P in April.

It is all part of the company’s strategy to consolidate its position in the transdermal and novel drug delivery space.

Novel drug delivery revolution

Four men from Nutriband, all wearing suits, pose for a photograph

From left: Nutriband director Steven Damon; Sean Gallagher, president; Dr Alan Smith, head of clinical, regulatory and operations; and Gareth Sheridan, founder and CEO. Image: Nutriband

Nutriband, based around the science of transdermal/topical technologies, was the brainchild of Sheridan who, inspired by nicotine patches, came up with a new way of using patches to slowly release vitamins and nutrients into a user’s system over a number of hours.

As part of the deal, 4P Therapeutics received 250,000 shares of Nutriband’s common stock and an additional cash payout of $400,000 bringing the overall value of the transaction to $2.25m.

“This marks a significant milestone for Nutriband,” said Sheridan.

“We have been working to bring 4P Therapeutics under our umbrella now for some time and we are very excited at the opportunities at hand with Defent as well as other transdermal drugs the company is working on.”

Updated, 7 August 2018 at 11.03am: This article has been updated to correct an earlier version that mistook the name of Nutriband founder Gareth Sheridan.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years