Company that develops novel osteoarthritis treatment raises capital with Sciety
NEW COMPANY AT SCIETY. Osteoarthritis affects more than 320 million people globally and is a leading source of chronic pain and disability in Europe and the US. Only half of the patients receive adequate pain relief. Sciety is now financing a company whose drug candidate has the potential to provide more effective pain relief and fewer side effects.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease that is increasing in prevalence. Between 1990 and 2019, osteoarthritis increased globally by 48%. The rising trend of an aging population and obesity means that the number is likely to continue to increase.
The risk of developing osteoarthritis rises with age and is a leading cause of disability among the elderly. While there is yet no drug to slow or reverse the disease progression, it is known that physical activity and modified exercise help, but many still need to take pain-relieving drugs. However, existing drugs are either not effective enough and/or are associated with negative side effects and risks.
Sciety is now financing a company that, by uniquely combining two existing drugs, aims to offer a new drug that provides improved pain relief and fewer side effects.
“The company in question has a patented mechanism for linking two substances with proven safety and efficacy. The unique binding mechanism is expected to allow the substances to remain longer in the joint and thus provide more lasting pain relief than if the two substances were given separately. The company is now about to start a clinical study in humans with osteoarthritis,” says Andreas Lindblom, CEO of Sciety.
Any joint in the body can develop osteoarthritis but most often it affects the knees, hips, and finger joints. In Sweden, osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the most common chronic diseases.
“The risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee during your lifetime is as high as 46%. Today, at least 24 million people are treated with drugs for osteoarthritis of the knee, but conventional drug treatments can cause negative side effects in, for example, the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system. The company’s candidate has the potential to combine the benefits of other drugs on the market and at the same time avoid the negative side effects,” says Andreas Lindblom.
A fast-growing market that attracts Big Pharma
The market for osteoarthritis treatment amounted to USD 6.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to USD 10.1 billion by 2024. The market growth is driven by the increasing prevalence of osteoarthritis and the increasing use of painkillers.
Both Big Pharma and niched biopharma companies have a strategic interest in the osteoarthritis field. Between 2014 and May 2021, more than 60 licensing and acquisition deals were closed.
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Sciety is the leading Nordic life science and health tech investment syndicate. By combining experience from life science and finance we select promising companies in the industry. We invest our funds in all companies that pass our selection process and offer the investment syndicate to co-invest on the same terms. The syndicate comprises venture capital firms, family offices, and business angels.
Our mission is to help life science innovations to reach their full potential.