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Utah Life Sciences News & Events

Phoenix PharmaLabs Announces New Investment Offering with Netcapital

December 31, 2020

Phoenix PharmaLabs (Phoenix), a Utah company developing potent, non-addictive treatments for pain and opioid and cocaine addictions, announced it has launched its second offering campaign on the Netcapital platform. This new offering follows a fund raise in 2019 of more than $1.1 million via Netcapital. 

Proceeds from this latest campaign will further support the development of the company’s lead non-addictive pain relief drug, PPL-103, and help fund the additional development of a second non-addictive compound, PPL-138, targeting chronic pain. Both drugs are expected to enter Phase I clinical trials in 2021.

Funds from the 2019 offering, along with approximately $3 million in grant dollars from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command and the NIH/National Institute for Drug Abuse, have been used to conduct various preclinical studies, including non-human primate studies at Wake Forest University, as well as manufacturing scale-up of PPL-103. Although these trials had been expected to begin late this year, COVID-19 has delayed them until 2021.

“The need for effective treatment of moderate-to-severe pain without risk of addiction or overdose continues to be unmet, said Bill Crossman, CEO of Phoenix. Crossman says that even though the opioid crisis isn’t receiving the same level of attention it did before the pandemic, the crisis is escalating during COVID-19, with approximately 50,000 deaths from opioid overdose reported in the past year. 

Crossman said the company’s previous offering via the Netcapital platform was extremely successful and oversubscribed. Their investors, accredited and unaccreditated, have been asking how they can make additional investments.

“The investor enthusiasm is a very significant development,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, president and CEO of BioUtah. “The Woods Cross-based company is not only innovating to fill a critical treatment gap that will save lives, but they’re doing it right here in Utah – in our robust BioHive.”

In preclinical studies, the company’s two drugs indicate they perform exceptionally well and appear to be safe and non-addicting, with none of the side effects normally associated with opioids. Additionally, Phoenix’s research has demonstrated the potential to treat those who are already addicted to opioids or cocaine. 

The CDC reports that over the past decade, death rates have declined for all serious medical conditions – except for death from prescription opioid abuse, which has risen dramatically since 1990. According to the agency, “this is a major public health problem that is getting worse, and getting worse rapidly.”

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