Pharma, Startups

Lyra Therapeutics raises $29.5M for chronic rhinosinusitis drug implant

The company plans to use the funding to advance LYR-210 into a Phase II clinical trial and also explore its development platform in other ENT diseases.

Money currency vector illustration. Various money bills dollar cash paper bank notes and gold coins. Collection of cash heap pile and currency stack vector set.

A drugmaker with a product candidate for a sinus inflammation disease has raised an equity financing round to move it into mid-stage clinical development.

Watertown, Massachusetts-based Lyra Therapeutics said Wednesday that it had raised $29.5 million in a Series B round that it will use to fund a Phase II clinical trial of its lead candidate, LYR-210, in chronic rhinosinusitis, also known as CRS, a disease caused by inflammation of the paranasal sinus tissues that affects about 27 million people in the US.

presented by

Perceptive Advisors led the financing, while new investors RA Capital management, ArrowMark Partners and Soleus Capital participated, along with existing investors Polaris Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and Intersouth Partners.

In addition to the upcoming Phase II study, the funding will allow the company to apply its transmucosal drug-delivery implant system to other ear, nose and throat diseases. LYR-210 is designed be administered in a physician’s office, delivering a long-acting formulation of a steroid into the sinus tissues that are inaccessible to conventional therapeutic approaches and releasing the drug for up to six months.

The Phase II study will enroll 100-150 patients and start in the first half of next year, initially in Australia and New Zealand – where the Phase I study took place – before branching into other global locations, CEO Maria Palasis said in an email.

The company said Sept. 17 that it would have an oral presentation of results of the Phase I study of LYR-210 at the American Rhinologic Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta on Oct. 5. According to the company’s website, the drug was shown to be safe and well-tolerated and to demonstrate significant improvements in clinical outcomes among patients with CRS, with and without nasal polyps. According to a paper last year, nasal polyps are inflammatory outgrowths are inflammatory outgrowths of tissue in the nasal sinuses that are estimated to occur in 1-4 percent of the general population in the US. They occur most frequently in a CRS subset called chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, or CRSwNP, along with diseases like cystic fibrosis and cancers.

sponsored content

A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

Swiss drugmaker Roche is also developing a drug for CRSwNP, omalizumab. The company is running two 120-patient Phase III studies of the drug in patients who have had inadequate responses to standard-of-care treatments, both of which it initiated in September 2017. It also started a Phase III extension study in March for patients who completed the other two studies. According to the Mayo Clinic, medical treatments for CRSwNP include corticosteroids – nasal as well as oral and injectable – and other medications, or sometimes surgery.

Photo: aurielaki, Getty Images