Q&A: Achelios Therapeutics

by David D. Menzies

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- In the medical world, treating pain and inflammation topically is generally regarded as safer and faster in terms of providing relief than administering oral therapies. Achelios Therapeutics is looking to make this type of treatment even more effective with an innovative topical formulation that permeates the skin better than leading commercial medications. As part of our continuing coverage of innovative companies we found at CED’s 2016 Life Science Conference, CarolinaTechNews takes a look at Achelios in this Q&A with Chief Commercial Officer Michael Fox.


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Q: When was your company founded and why?

A: We were founded in 2012 with a recognition that there is a significant unmet medical need for novel agents for the treatment of pain that are highly efficacious and avoid the side effects of systemic agents.

Q: Where is your HQ and how many employees do you have?

A: We are in Chapel Hill NC and have 10 employees.

Q: What are your company’s core products or services?

A: Our platform technology is patent protected topical NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for the local treatment of pain and inflammation

Q: Who are some recognizable members of your leadership team?

A:  Dr. Wolfgang Liedtke at Duke and Dr. William Bauer in Cleveland.

Q: What are your differentiators from competitors?

A: Our lead program is for the treatment of migraine therefore our competition would be the oral NSAIDs or injectable triptans for the treatment of migraine.  As such, as a topical agent, we offer the safety of a topical with we believe the efficacy of an oral agent.

Q: Does your company develop new technologies or re-apply existing technologies to solve a problem?

A: Our technology is a novel formulation platform which allows significantly higher amounts of drug to penetrate the skin than existing agents.  This can be applied to existing compounds or novel agents.

Q: Who are your customers?

A: For the treatment of migraine this would be the neurologist and primary care physicians.  We also have several agents in development for potential OTC use which would be available directly to patients.

Q: What problems does your company solve?

A: Improved efficacy of a topical agent and improved safety vs oral or injectible agents for the treatment of migraine.

Q: Please share any examples of situations where your products or services achieved a positive result for clients.

A: Our Phase 2 results suggest that this program is highly efficacious and well tolerated by patients.

Q: What new products or services will you be rolling-out in 2016?

A: In 2016 we will be advancing our program to Phase 2b for the treatment of acute migraine and Phase 2a for migraine prevention.  In addition we will continue to progress our line of potential OTC pain products.

Q: What makes your company relevant to the future of your industry?

A: Achelios' contribution is that for the first time we have demonstrated that migraine headache and the symptoms associated with migraine can be treated and controlled by a topical agent without the need for the use of systemic agents.  The application of our platform technology will greatly enhance the efficacy of drugs without the deleterious systemic side effects of these agents.

Q: Will your company be participating in any upcoming trade shows or other events, or are you being featured in any upcoming industry publications?

A: Yes, we have presented our clinical results at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology and several Headache symposia in the US and abroad.  We will be publishing our mechanistic studies shortly.

Q: Where can people go to find out more information?

A: www.Achelios.com