Biotech developing lower back pain remedy raises $6M

back painThe serial entrepreneur who founded and led pediatric drug developer NextWave Pharmaceuticals that Pfizer acquired last year, is now part of a management team interested in developing a treatment for lower back pain. The condition affects about 31 million people in the U.S., according to the American Chiropractic Association.

Mahendra Shah, a venture partner with Vivo Ventures and the executive chairman of Semnur Pharmaceuticals, told MedCity News in a phone interview that the company has raised $6 million as part of a $30 million round to advance its injectable drug for lower back pain. The phase 2 clinical trials for the drug are expected to begin in the third quarter next year. He declined to comment further.

The back pain market is projected to rise to $23 billion by 2018, according to WWMR Inc. The market is dominated by abuse-resistant opioids. A description of the company on its LinkedIn page said it’s developing non-opioid products for underserved patients:

“We believe we have the technology to improve products’ efficacy and safety, and make a critical difference in the treatment of back pain patients.”

Jaisim Shah is the CEO of the company. Among the other board members are Brent Ahrens of Canaan Partners, according to a Form D filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the U.S., it plans to either develop and commercialize the product on its own or work with partners, according to its LinkedIn page. Beyond the U.S., it plans to commercialize products through select regional partnerships.

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