Consegna buys Fathom to expand long-acting injectable pipeline

Consegna Pharma is stepping up its bid to use long-acting injectables (LAIs) to combat the opioid crisis, striking a deal to acquire Fathom Pharma and its lead treatment for chronic pain in terminally ill patients.

Pittsburgh-based Consegna is deploying computational technologies to create delivery systems for LAIs. Using the systems, the company is building a pipeline of candidates in therapeutic areas in which LAIs can make a difference, for example by addressing non-adherence. The pipeline features a formulation of naloxone, a drug used to treat opioid overdoses.

Consegna’s desire to expand its opioid-related portfolio has led it to ink an agreement to buy Fathom, an Ohio-based business that is working on treatments for moderate to severe chronic pain including FP01.

"This acquisition is highly complementary to our existing opioid strategy and adds high quality growth potential," Larry Zana, president and CEO of Consegna, said in a statement. Neither party has disclosed the terms of the takeover. 

FP01, Fathom’s lead prospect, is in development as a treatment for chronic pain in terminally ill patients. The candidate is part of a broader strategy to use LAIs to improve on the safety and efficacy of existing treatments for chronic pain. In doing so, Fathom could create painkillers without the abuse risks linked to the current crop of opioids. 

Darren Wolfe, CEO of Fathom, set out the role drug delivery technologies play in the strategy and how the merger with Consegna will impact progress in a statement to disclose the deal. 

"Fathom welcomes joining Consegna, accelerating the clinical development of our combined LAI portfolio focused on several aspects of pain signaling pathways,” Wolfe said. “Across the globe, LAIs are changing the way medicines are delivered in key therapeutic areas and we are excited to help accelerate this transition.”