Massachusetts’ Lyndra Nabs $23 Million as It Plans to Start Clinical Trials This Year

Published: Apr 13, 2017

Massachusetts’ Lyndra Nabs $23 Million as It Plans to Start Clinical Trials This Year April 13, 2017
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Lyndra, based in Watertown, Mass., closed on a $23 million Series A financing. It was led by Polaris Partners and joined by Quark Venture and GF Securities, Yonghua Capital, Healthlink Capital, Partners Healthcare, Suffolk Equity and others.

Lyndra focuses on developing ultra-long-acting oral, sustained-release drug delivery systems. Current technology allows for 12 to 24-hour sustained release. Lyndra believes it has technology that would allow for long-acting release for up to 7 days or more.

The technology came out of the MIT laboratories of Robert Langer, Giovanni Traverso and Andrew Bellinger.

“Lyndra’s ultra-long-acting platform, originally developed for mass drug administration campaigns in the developing world, is particularly powerful because of the breadth of indications and compounds that the company can target and bring to patients,” said Langer in a statement. “The number of lives we could touch with this technology is nearly limitless. Since the company’s founding, five members of the [Langer] Lab have joined Lyndra due to their commitment to bring this technology to patients. This mix of passion and potential patient impact is truly something special.”

The company currently has 30 employees. It hopes to launch clinical trials later this year.

The company published an article in the journal Science Translational Medicine in November 2016, describing how the technology successfully delivered a malarial drug, invermectin, for a week or more.

The company’s technology platform involves a star-shaped device. The drug is loaded into each arm of the star, which is then folded onto itself and fit inside a capsule. Once ingested, the capsule dissolves and the star unfolds. Its open configuration keeps it in the stomach and the drug is released slowly instead of passing through the digestive system. The size of the “star” is large enough to keep it in place, but small enough that it doesn’t obstruct food. It can also be modified, according to Xconomy, “to adjust the delivery of an active pharmaceutical ingredient for an initial burst of the drug followed by a tapered release, or a slow and steady release of the drug over a long period of time.”

In addition to its delivery technology program, the company has its own lead drug program. However, it is not yet discussing that other than to indicate it’s a Lyndra product, not something acquired from another company. It has also declined to identify the drugs or types of drugs it’s working with on its delivery system.

Amy Schulman, chief executive officer, co-founder and Polaris Partners venture partner, said in a statement, “That approximately 50% of people do not adhere to their prescribed medications in the developed world leading to $100 billion dollars spent on avoidable hospitalizations in the U.S. alone, which is both unfortunate and to date largely resistant to quick-fix efforts. The detrimental impact on patient health outcomes is something we can help. We hope the Lyndra platform will improve how patients feel about taking their medication, and how caregivers administer pills. Making it easier for patients and caregivers, while improving efficacy, shifts the current paradigm of oral delivery and adherence.”

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