Opioid treatment implant-maker Braeburn Pharmaceuticals said in a regulatory filing last month that it has made charitable donations to an advocacy group fronted by Newt Gingrich and Patrick Kennedy known as Advocates for Opioid Recovery. The group lobbies for more government funding and insurance coverage for opioid maintenance treatments.
Former Republican House speaker Gingrich and former congressman Kennedy are paid advisors to the group, making appearances on Fox News and in the New Yorker. Last week, Gingrich told Stat that he didn’t know who was funding the advocacy group and the nonprofit’s officials refused to disclose its investors.
The Princeton, N.J.-based company’s filing revealed that Braeburn inked a funding agreement with the nonprofit through its private equity fund, Apple Tree Partners. Braeburn wrote that it agreed to make a $900,000 charitable donation to Advocates for Opioid Recovery and that it has paid $675,000 as of Sept. 30.
Apple Tree Partners also backs CleanState Addiction Treatment Centers. Kennedy has served as a member of the board of directors for CleanState since 2015, according to Stat.
Last month, Braeburn pulled its plans for a $150 million initial public offering, citing unstable market conditions.
The company 1st announced plans to go public in late December and in mid-January, Braeburn said it planned to raise $150 million by offering 7,692,308 shares of its common stock at $18.00 to $21.00 apiece.
The company has developed a 6-month buprenorphine implant for the treatment of opioid addiction – the 1st device of its kind to be approved by the FDA. In November last year, the company touted data from a phase III trial of an injectable formulation of buprenorphine for opioid addiction. Braeburn also has additional product candidates in its pipeline that address therapeutic areas of focus such as pain, schizophrenia and spasticity.
Braeburn previously said it planned to use the $137.2 million in net proceeds from the offering to commercialize its injectable burprenorphine, Probuphine, and advance product candidates through clinical development.
The company cited the current market environment as the primary reason it’s pulling the plug on an IPO. The healthcare industry found itself in uncertain territory following the election, as President Donald Trump has accused drugmakers of “getting away with murder”, sending some major pharmaceutical companies down in the stock market.