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$29.5M Funding Raised for Sinus Drug Delivery Company

Sinus doctor

(Maxpixel.net)

26 September 2018. A company developing a drug delivery technology to treat chronic sinus conditions is raising $29.5 million in its second venture financing round. The new funds raised by Lyra Therapeutics Inc. in Watertown, Massachusetts are expected to support intermediate-stage clinical trials of its lead product, code-named LYR-210, a treatment for chronic sinusitis.

Chronic sinusitis, also known as chronic rhinosinusitis, is a condition where areas around the nasal passages become inflamed and swollen for 12 weeks or more. The disorder makes breathing through the nose difficult, and often is accompanied by a buildup of mucus and slow drainage. The eyes, face, and forehead can also become tender and swollen, with reduced smell and taste senses. Nasal growths or polyps, crooked nasal wall between the nostrils called a deviated septum, infections, or allergies are believed to be causes of the condition. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says some 27 million people in the U.S., or 11 percent of the adult population, have chronic sinusitis.

Lyra Therapeutics develops therapies for ear, nose, and throat, or ENT, disorders beginning with chronic sinusitis. The company combines advances in materials science, engineering, and pharmaceuticals to design implants that provide long-term treatments. For chronic sinusitis, LYR-210 offers an implant made from bio-friendly polymers that deliver mometasone furoate, an approved corticosteroid for treating nasal polyps and inflammation. As a nasal spray, mometasone is taken once a day, but LYR-210 is expected to deliver the drug for up to 6 months, after implantation during a routine doctor’s office visit.

The company’s technology is derived from research in the labs of Robert Langer at MIT and George Whitesides at Harvard University who study chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science, for biomedical and other applications. In a November 2017 article in the journal Nature Materials, a team including Langer, Whitesides, and company CEO Maria Palasis describe implants made from polymer materials tested in arteries of pigs and sheep. The implants were shown to have mechanical and strength properties of metal implants, but were also biocompatible and resorbable after 12 to 18 months. Langer and Whitesides serve on Lyra Therapeutics’ board of directors.

Lyra is raising $29.5 million in its second venture funding round, led by life science investor Perceptive Advisors, joined by new investors RA Capital Management, ArrowMark Partners. and Soleus Capital. Existing investors Polaris Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Intersouth Partners are also taking part in the financing.

The new funds are expected to support an intermediate-stage clinical trial of LYR-210. Earlier this month, the company reported results from an early-stage safety trial of LYR-210 showing the implants are safe and well-tolerated, as well as providing meaningful concentrations of the mometasone furoate in the patients for 24 weeks. When the trial started in 2016, the company was known as 480 Biomedical.

“With this funding and the progress of LYR-210 in the clinic,” says Palasis in a company statement, “we believe Lyra is well positioned to achieve our goal to transform the ENT treatment paradigm by providing effective front-line solutions for physicians and new treatment options for their patients.”

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