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Centrexion Plans IPO to Bankroll Non-Opioid Pain Drugs

Xconomy Boston — 

Centrexion Therapeutics is notable for focusing solely on developing non-opioid, non-addictive pain drugs—an area that biopharma companies have largely avoided. Now the Boston-based startup wants Wall Street’s help with the effort.

Centrexion has outlined plans for an IPO. The company has set a preliminary IPO target of $86 million, though that figure is subject to change as the offering gets closer. Should Centrexion close its IPO, it will list on the Nasdaq under the symbol CNTX.

Centrexion, headed by former Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler, is testing its lead drug, CNTX-4975, in two Phase 3 clinical trials for pain stemming from knee osteoarthritis. The first trial, testing a single dose, started earlier this year and the second, testing two doses, is just getting underway. The company says both trials should provide the data needed to file for FDA approval. Results are expected in 2020.

CNTX-4975 is injected into the knee and is a synthetic form of capsaicin, which gives chili peppers their heat and has analgesic properties. The drug is designed to block the activity of certain pain fibers.

Centrexion has four other drug candidates in its pipeline for other types of chronic pain. Two of them have been tested in Phase 1 studies, and a third is close to entering an early-stage trial.

Since Centrexion was founded in 2013, it has raised $148.5 million in venture financing from New Enterprise Associates, InterWest Partners, Quan Capital Management, Arrowmark Partners, Clough Capital Partners, and 6 Dimensions Capital.