29 Jul, Thursday
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Local company raises $1.07m in second oversubscribed Reg CF funding

Woods Cross— Phoenix PharmaLabs, Inc. (https://phoenixpharmalabs.com), a private company developing two non-addictive opioid compounds to treat acute and chronic pain, announced it has completed a second successful round of financing raising $1.07 million via the Netcapital (https://netcapital.com) equity funding portal. Like its earlier 2019 Netcapital offering, this raise, which was carried out under Reg CF was also oversubscribed.

“More than a thousand investors, many of whom invested in our previous funding, participated in this offering, indicating to us they did so because they were pleased with our progress in the past two years – even with the challenges that the Covid shutdowns caused to our development timeline,” says William Crossman, president and CEO of Phoenix PharmaLabs.

Crossman explains that this funding opportunity, along with grants received from the US Army and NIH/NIDA, as well as investments from accredited investors, enable the company to continue to advance the development of two compounds that have demonstrated in various in vitro and in vivo studies significant potential to be potent, safe, non-addictive analgesics.

In August 2020, the company acquired a portfolio of 25 compounds from the University of Bath. One of these compounds is being advanced as PPL-138 to treat chronic pain without the potential for addiction or other significant opioid side effects. This compound, and PPL-103, the non-addictive opioid under development by the company to treat acute pain, will continue to be advanced by the company into the clinic – for Phase 1, 2, and Proof-of-Concept clinical trials. Both compounds have also shown promise in preclinical studies as treatments for opioid addiction (PPL-103) and cocaine addiction (PPL-138) and the company is pursuing these indications as well.

During the pandemic, the opioid crisis accelerated. Late last year, the CDC reported 81,000 deaths from opioids for the 12 months ended May 2020 (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p1218-overdose-deaths-covid-19.html), representing the largest number reported to date. Statistics for the year ending May 2021 are not yet available. “There continues to be an urgency to this problem and the need for non-addictive analgesics is huge,” affirmed Crossman, whose own stepson suffers from addiction after being prescribed opioids to treat pain following a construction accident more than a decade ago. “Many of our investors are individuals, like me, whose families have been personally affected by the opioid crisis. Many more are members of the medical community – pharmacists, doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, addiction specialists – all of whom have experienced firsthand the devastation that addictive pain treatments have caused to individuals and their loved ones. We believe our drugs can help bring non-addictive treatments for pain to those who need relief.

PPL-103 and PPL-138

Phoenix has two compounds under development as non-addictive analgesics:

PPL-103 is the company’s first compound and binds strongly to all three opioid receptors in the brain (mu, kappa, and delta) and then just partially stimulates those receptors in a much more balanced manner. PPL-103 stimulates the mu receptor only slightly (about 20 percent) with higher, but not full stimulation of kappa and delta. This partial stimulation derives analgesic benefit from all three receptors, but it is not sufficiently strong to produce the serious opioid side effects associated with any of these receptors as shown in numerous in vivo studies to date.

PPL-138 a compound acquired in 2020 as part of a portfolio of compounds that were developed at the University of Bath, uses a different mechanism of action. PPL-138 partially stimulates the mu and NOP (Nociceptin) receptors.

PPL-103 and PPL-138 have clearly demonstrated in various animal studies that they do not produce euphoria (or dysphoria) and will not lead to addiction. Research has shown that there is an extremely high correlation between these animal studies and Human Abuse Liability studies and other indicators that measure the potential for abuse and addiction in humans. Phoenix is extremely optimistic about the potential for both compounds as non-addictive treatments for pain.

The Netcapital funding portal is registered with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a registered national securities association. For more information, please visit https://netcapital.com