<i>Tech across New England: </i>Cara Therapeutics aims to rid side effects of pain relief
Cara Therapeutics inc.
Location: Shelton, Conn.
Date founded: 2004
top executive: Derek Chalmers
Industry: Biotechnology, pain relievers
Cara Therapeutics is developing a novel analgesic pain reliever called CR845. Company officials say that the potential drug does not have the same central nervous system side effects of other pain medications, including opioids like Vicodin or Oxycontin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil. The company has completed a single dose Phase 2 study targeting patients with post-operative pain. It plans to complete a multi-dose Phase 2 study in 2011.
Cara Therapeutics has so far raised at least $43 million, including a Series D round worth $15 million, which closed in July. Investors include Rho Ventures, Alta Biopharma, Ascent Biomedical Ventures, CT Innovations, Devon Park BioVentures, Healthcare Private Equity, Mitsubishi International Corporation and MVM Life Science Partners. The state of Connecticut has invested $5.8 million, including a $4 million construction loan and $1.78 million in equity investments.
From the top, CEO Derek Chalmers: “Physician concerns regarding the serious adverse effects of currently used narcotic and NSAID drugs results in general under-treatment of pain and delays patient recovery. Due to its peripheral site-of-action, CR845 provides pain relief in the absence of these side effects, leading to safer and more effective pain relief for patients.” He said said the Phase 2 results for the drug candidate showed a very large reduction in need for co-administration of narcotics and consequent reduction in side effects such as nausea.