Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Montreal-based cardiovascular drug development company, has raised $13 million in fresh capital. Pappas Ventures, the Business Development Bank of Canada and GO Capital co-led the round. Fonds de solidarité FTQ, iNovia Healthcare Ventures and Fonds Bio-Innovation also participated. The money will be used for continued development. As a result of the round, Eric Linsley, managing partner of Pappas Ventures; Scott Weiner, senior principal at Pappas Ventures; and Dominic Jaikaran, principal at BDC Health Venture Fund, will join Milestone’s board.
Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc., a cardiovascular drug development company, announces the completion of a $13 million round of equity financing. The round is led by Pappas Ventures, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), and GO Capital. Other participating investors are Fonds de solidarité FTQ (FSTQ), and the company’s previous investors, iNovia Healthcare Ventures, who played a key role during the Company’s founding and was the lead investor in the earlier rounds, and Fonds Bio-Innovation.
Funding will be used to continue development of MSP-2017 and related products, the company’s lead candidate series for episodic treatment of transient cardiovascular conditions such as paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), and stable angina, amongst others.
“We are excited that this group of leading life sciences investors shares our vision for developing cardiology products for unmet medical needs in atrial arrhythmias and ischemic conditions,” said Philippe Douville, Chief Executive Officer at Milestone. “MSP-2017 will be a first-in-class medication for a target group of patients who will benefit from a “pill-in-the-pocket” to terminate acute PSVT episodes in the unmonitored setting without necessarily having to resort to the emergency room.”
“We believe that Milestone’s strategy to address PSVT is consistent with the trends toward consumer-centric health with patients being more involved in managing their medical conditions and reducing the economic burden on the healthcare system,” said Ela Borenstein, Partner, BDC Health Venture Fund, who joins the company’s board of directors.
“The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is pleased to invest in Milestone, a pre-clinical company that it has been supporting indirectly for many years. This investment has been made in association with a strong group of Canadian and US based investors that are members of the Fonds’ network. The presence of US investors confirms the high quality of the science developed in Quebec and nourishes the Fonds’ commitment to pursue the development of Quebec’s life science sector” said Janie Béïque Senior Vice-President New Economy.
In conjunction with this financing, Eric Linsley, Managing Partner of Pappas Ventures, Scott Weiner, Senior Principal at Pappas Ventures and Dominic Jaikaran, Principal at BDC Health Venture Fund, will also join Milestone’s Board of Directors. The FSTQ will name a Board representative in the coming months. Philippe Lamarre and Adeoye Olukotun will retire from Milestone’s Board.
Milestone’s lead product (MSP-2017) is a novel and potent short-acting calcium channel antagonist in preclinical development for the treatment of PSVT, a cardiac arrhythmia with an unmet need for treatment of acute episodes. The product is designed to be used by ECG-diagnosed patients to terminate acute PSVT episodes at-home in an unmonitored setting. MSP-2017 will be different than chronic drug treatment because it is short-acting with a blood half-life of less than 5 minutes, and will be used to terminate acute PSVT attacks as they arise. This should allow patients to discontinue chronic therapy thereby avoiding side effects or avoiding inconvenient and costly visits to the emergency room. MSP-2017 could also provide patients with an alternative to catheter ablation, an invasive and expensive cardiac procedure. Because of its short half-life, it is expected to have an excellent safety profile, and will be delivered for rapid systemic exposure and pharmacodynamic response.
MSP-2017 will address an unmet medical need because, currently, there are no competing short-acting products for acute PSVT in an at-home setting. Adenosine, the most widely used short-acting drug, can only be administered intravenously in a clinical setting. A short-acting product for acute PSVT that could be self-administered would give patients the option to treat episodes in the unmonitored setting and improve their quality of life.
There are approximately 600,000 ECG-diagnosed patients with PSVT in the United States and it is believed there are over 1.2 million outside the US.
About Milestone Pharmaceuticals
Milestone is a drug development company developing novel small molecule therapeutics based on clinically validated mechanisms for cardiovascular diseases. Milestone’s lead product is a novel and potent short-acting calcium channel antagonist for the systemic treatment of transient cardiovascular conditions such as atrial arrhythmias and angina. The Company has assembled a world-class scientific advisory board of key opinion leaders with significant cardiovascular expertise in cardiology, regulatory affairs, and drug development. Milestone was founded in 2005 and initially financed by iNovia Capital, Fonds BioInnovation and an angel investor. For more information, please visit www.milestonepharma.com
About Pappas Ventures
Founded in 1994, Pappas Ventures invests exclusively in the life sciences sector – biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery, medical devices and related ventures. Most recently, in April 2011, the firm’s portfolio company Plexxikon, Inc. was sold to Daiichi Sankyo for cash and contingent payments of up to $935 million. Pappas Ventures has more than $300 million in capital under management, and has guided the launch and/or development of more than 50 life sciences companies, including Cerexa (acquired by Forest Laboratories), Peninsula Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Johnson & Johnson), TargeGen (acquired by Sanofi-aventis), Syntonix (acquired by Biogen IDEC), NuVasive (IPO), and Anthera Pharmaceuticals (IPO). For more information about Pappas Ventures, please visit www.pappasventures.com.
BDC is Canada’s business development bank. From 100 business centres across the country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing, venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. www.bdc.ca
About GO Capital LP
GO Capital LP is a $50 million venture capital fund that invests in Quebec seed-stage technology firms in the fields of cleantech, information technologies and life sciences. GO Capital is managed by its General Partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada.
About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ helps drive our economy. With net assets of $7.7 billion as of November 30, 2010, the Fund is a development capital investment fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help further Quebec’s economic growth. The Fund is a partner, either directly or through its network members, in 2,052 companies. With its 577,511 owner-shareholders, it has helped, on its own or with other financial partners, to create, maintain and protect 150,133 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com.
About iNovia Healthcare Ventures
Inovia Healthcare Ventures manages the healthcare and life sciences portfolios of iNovia Capital, which has $165 M under management across two funds. Inovia Healthcare Ventures combines access to innovative technologies, operational sector expertise, global industrial collaborations and entrepreneurs to build opportunities in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and related areas. Inovia Healthcare Ventures focuses on efficiently creating value in clinically meaningful domains of activity. For more information, visit www.inoviahv.com.
About Fonds Bio-Innovation
Fonds Bio-Innovation is a limited partnership managed by its General Partner, Gestion Bio-Innovation Inc., a subsidiary of CQVB. The limited partners are the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and the CQVB. Fonds Bio-Innovation offers financing to start-up biotechnology companies in Quebec to enable them to structure their companies, establish proof-of-concepts, development of prototypes, intellectual property, determination of a company’s competitive advantages, market niches, and commercial strategy. www.fondsbio-innovation.com