University of Toronto startup raises $10.3 million to develop post-surgery pain treatment: Globe and Mail

(photo by Neil Ta)

A startup born from the lab of renowned University of Toronto researcher Molly Shoichet has received $10.3 million from investors to begin human safety trials on an injectable gel that can improve post-surgery pain treatment, the Globe and Mail reports.

AmacaThera is built on a gel technology developed by Shoichet, a University Professor in chemical engineering and applied chemistry and biomaterials and biomedical engineering, and her team. She co-founded AmacaThera with Mike Cooke, who was a post-doctoral researcher in her lab.

The gel dramatically extends the duration of anesthetics injected at the site of a surgical incision, potentially eliminating the need to give patients the powerful post-surgery painkillers that frequently lead to opioid addiction.

The Globe and Mail reported that the financing was led by Toronto’s Lumia Ventures and backed by investors in Canada, the United States and Europe, including Viva BioInnovator, BDC Capital Women in Technology Venture Fund and Inveready.

“The work out of that lab is truly transformative and she’s a leader in the space,” Lumira Ventures Managing General Partner Peter van der Velden told the Globe and Mail.

AmacaThera raised $3.25 million in its first round of financing in 2019. It received support from UTEST and the Creative Destruction Lab, two of U of T’s entrepreneurship hubs.

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