Collegium raises $22.5 million for chronic pain drug

Series B round nets Collegium $22.5 million

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CUMBERLAND, R.I.—Specialty pharmaceutical company CollegiumPharmaceutical, Inc., which focuses on developing new treatments for themanagement of chronic pain, has announced that a Series B financing round hasnetted the company $22.5 million. the round was led by Longitude Capital andSkyline Ventures, and Frazier Healthcare Ventures and Boston MillenniaPartners, Collegium's Series A investors, also took part in the financing.
In connection with the financing, David Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D.,of Longitude Capital and Stephen Hoffman, M.D., Ph.D., of Skyline will bejoining Collegium's board of directors, which includes Patrick Heron ofFrazier, Patrick Fortune, Ph.D., of Boston Millennia and Michael Heffernan,Collegium's founder and Chief Executive Officer.
The funding from the Series B round will be put towardsCollegium's full development program for COL-003, a tamper-resistant,extended-release oxycodone product that utilizes the company's proprietaryDETERx technology. The compound is currently in clinical development, and ithas been granted Fast Track status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA).
"We believe that with the ongoing national epidemic ofprescription drug abuse there remains a significant unmet clinical need fortamper-resistant formulations that can mitigate abuse/misuse of opioidproducts," Heffernan said in a press release. "We have initiated our Phase IIItrial for COL-003 and are working to complete the remaining developmentactivities required for regulatory submission."
Collegium expects to file a New Drug Application for COL-003next year, and the funds raised by the Series B round will support the companythrough FDA approval of the compound.
Collegium's DETERx drug delivery platform is amulti-particulate matrix formulation in a capsule, primilarily developed toresult in tamper-resistant medications, specifically opioids, to protectagainst methods such as crushing, chewing, snorting and extraction for IVinjection. In addition, the design has the potential to allow patients who havedifficulty swallowing to open and administer the capsule's contents on food orvia a gastronomy tube. The technology is applicable for opioids andamphetamines, as well as drugs with narrow therapeutic windows.
Chornic pain and prescription opioid abuse are increasinglyprevalent issues, the latter to the point that the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention have labeled opioid overdose a national epidemic. The FDAestimates that over 33 million Americans abused opioids in 2007, with nearly50,000 emergency room visits in 2006 as a result of opioid abuse. Chronic painis on the rise as well, given the aging population and an increase in cnacerpatients suffering from long-term treatment effects. A recent Institute ofMedicine report estimates that approximately 116 million Americans suffer fromchornic pain each year, many going untreated or under-treated due to safety andabuse concerns regarding prescription opioids.
"We were attracted to Collegium by the potential to developan important and unique product that helps address the enormous and growingissue of prescription drug abuse," Hirsch said in a press release. "The DETERxtechnology provides market leading tamper-resistant properties that wouldsubstantially raise the bar for tamper resistant opiates."
SOURCE: Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. press release

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