HOUSTON, Dec. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vapogenix, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing a topical, non-opioid medicine for localized pain, has raised $8.2 million to advance the development of its lead product, a locally-acting analgesic based on volatile anesthetics (VAs), the company announced today.  Pamoja Capital, prominent pain physicians and others invested in the round.  The financial support will fund a Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept study for Project AWARD (A Wound Analgesic with RapiD action).

“There is enormous potential and demand for a safe, pain-relief therapy that treats wounds and burns at the source of the pain.  The topical delivery of Vapogenix medicines will help minimize the need for, and the numerous side-effects of, systemic drugs like opioids,” said Danguole Altman, Vapogenix CEO and Co-Founder.  “Overdoses involving opioids killed more than 28,000 people in 2014 and more than half of those deaths were from prescription opioids.  This horrific epidemic demands that we find better, more innovative solutions to pain management.”

Vapogenix’s technology is based on the novel finding that local application of VAs can reduce pain. Currently VAs are only used unformulated by inhalation for general anesthesia.  The company has formulated these VAs into topical gels and liquids and intends to treat various painful conditions including wounds, combat-related injuries, osteoarthritis, muscular and inflammatory conditions.

“This is groundbreaking work in that this is the first time volatile anesthetics have been formulated to treat pain topically,” said Allen Burton, MD, Vapogenix Co-Founder and Scientific Advisory Board Chairman.  “Extensive case reports support dramatic pain reduction, rapid onset and localized effect of Project AWARD.  We are thrilled to begin a Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept study as this is an important step towards commercialization of this product.” 

More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, with opioids being the most common treatment for pain relief.  Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in the U.S. nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  As such, many pain management physicians are actively seeking non-opioid pain-relief options.  In this financing round, several physician leaders of the country's largest pain management group, National Spine and Pain Centers, invested in Vapogenix.

"Our physicians are hopeful that Vapogenix’s topical application of Volatile Anesthetics will provide a safe and non-narcotic solution for an enormous patient population that has continued to suffer without satisfactory options,” said Dr. Marc Loev, a national leader in pain management and a principal at National Spine and Pain Centers.  “Based on our experience as anesthesiologists and pain physicians, we have taken an interest in Vapogenix, and are working with the company to align its product development and indications with those of the clinical needs of physicians and patients.”

Vapogenix plans to develop a suite of products to treat localized pain, all based on formulated volatile anesthetics.  The company expects the Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept study for Project AWARD to begin in 2017. 

Frontcourt Group acted as the placement agent for the equity financing.

To learn more about Vapogenix, visit www.vapogenix.com.

About Vapogenix, Inc.
Vapogenix (www.vapogenix.com) is a clinical-stage company developing a new class of non-narcotic analgesics for localized pain.  Its products are formulated volatile anesthetics (VAs); currently unformulated volatile anesthetics are used only as general anesthetics, by inhalation.  The company’s core products focus on treating wound pain, localized inflammatory pain and pain associated with venipuncture, venous cannulation and minor dermatological procedures.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Danguole Altman
CEO and Co-Founder
Vapogenix, Inc.
daltman@vapogenix.com
713-748-3903

FOR MEDIA QUERIES, CONTACT:
Tracey Sawicki
Frontcourt PR
tracey@frontcourtgroup.com
917-297-0574