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Evonik backs Allay's development of post-surgery pain therapy implants

Allay Therapeutics has added a new name to its star-studded investor syndicate: Evonik.

The specialty chemicals company backed the startup after seeing promise in drug delivery technology that is enabled by its biodegradable polymers.

California-based Allay exited stealth last year having already generated phase 1b/2a data on its lead drug candidate and secured funding from investors including NEA. Months later, the startup disclosed a series C that saw NEA ally with financiers including Arboretum Ventures, which led the round, and Singapore state investor Temasek to pump $60 million into the business.

The investment reflected the promise of Allay’s lead candidate ATX-101, which combines bupivacaine and a bioresorbable polymer to create an implant that slowly releases the anesthetic drug for local pain relief after total knee replacement surgery. Evonik is the latest group to latch onto the idea.

“Allay's pain products can become a game-changer in postoperative pain management. They may reduce the problems that opioids bring, such as dependence, further hospitalization, lengthy rehabilitation and overall costs to the healthcare system,” Bernhard Mohr, head of Evonik' Venture Capital, said in a statement.

Evonik provides the polymers that Allay uses to extend the delivery of bupivacaine to up to three weeks. By providing local anesthetic delivery in the weeks after surgery, Allay could reduce the need for patients to use opioids to manage their pain. Compared to external historical data, Allay found people in its phase 1b/2a trial used “between half to two-thirds less opioids than a typical [total knee arthroplasty] patient.”

Allay began a phase 2b study of the candidate in June. The randomized, double-blind trial is comparing two doses of ATX-101 to placebo and bupivacaine hydrochloride without epinephrine via local infiltration in total knee arthroplasty patients. The study is enrolling 345 patients and is scheduled to wrap up in June.

Written and published By Nick Paul Taylor

Dec 13, 2022 10:43am

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