Toronto’s AmacaThera is preparing clinical trials of a drug delivery hydrogel that could diminish the need for prescription opioid painkillers after surgery.

AmacaThera, a Canada-based drug release hydrogel developer based on University of Toronto research, has raised C$3.3m ($2.5m) in a seed round co-led by drug design services provider Viva Biotech.
Sprout BioVentures co-led the round, with participation from early-stage investment fund Grey Sky Venture Partners. The deal remains open to additional investors, with a second close anticipated in coming months.
Founded in 2016, AmacaThera is developing injectable hydrogels that release pharmacological agents such as small molecules, antibodies and stem cells into the body.
The company’s initial product, AMT-143, is intended to prolong the effectiveness of anaesthetics injected at the site of a surgical incision. The technique could supplant the need for post-surgical opioids with habit-forming qualities that leave the patient at risk of addiction.
AmacaThera will channel the capital into clinical phase 1 trials aimed at proving proof-of-concept of its drug delivery hydrogel, which has also been…

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