Cambridge, UK, 15 December 2008: Lectus Therapeutics Ltd, the drug discovery and development company focusing on next-generation ion channel modulators, announced today that it had achieved a major milestone by advancing a novel orally active modulator of N-type (Cav2.2) ion channels from research into development. This success follows Lectus’s Series A financing round completed in 2006 and led by Sofinnova Partners (Paris, France). As well as validating the Company’s proprietary technology platform, the round has enabled the Company to establish its discovery and development pipeline.
In addition to identifying modulators of Cav2.2 ion channels, one of the industry’s hottest therapeutic targets for the treatment of pain and related indications, Lectus has proven its approach on a number of other ion channel targets. Given the lack of recent industry success in the ion channels field, Lectus’s approach to selectively target ion channel accessory proteins could represent a potential breakthrough in this challenging area. Such next-generation ion channel modulators, identified using Lectus’s proprietary technology LEPTICS®, are anticipated to demonstrate considerable advantages over current and pipeline compounds.
Dr Roland Kozlowski, CEO of Lectus, commented: “Lectus is delighted to move one of its key assets into development. This represents a significant value inflection point for the business and emphasises the value of its discovery approach. Lectus is now ideally placed to explore a range of transactions for further maturation of its asset base.”
The Chairman of Lectus’s Scientific Advisory Board, Chas Bountra (Chief Scientific Officer at the Structural Genomics Consortium in Oxford and formerly Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline) added “Cav2.2 is a clinically precedented target. Lectus’s candidate compound represents an asset with a novel molecular profile which should translate to utility in a wide range of pain states. Lectus should fast track this asset into clinical efficacy studies - in the hope of quickly converting it into a drug to benefit patients.”
Lectus’s management will be attending the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, 12-14 January 2009.
About Lectus Therapeutics and LEPTICS®
Lectus Therapeutics is an emerging UK-based drug-discovery and development company, incorporated in December 2002, specialising in the discovery and development of novel drugs for pain management and associated disorders. Lectus’s vision is to become a world leader in developing next-generation ion channel therapeutics. Lectus exploits the power of its proprietary functional proteomics platform, LEPTICS® (Leveraged Enabling Proteomics Technology for Ion Channel Screening), and builds on its knowledge of ion channels, to develop novel ion channel modulators that have the potential to offer important clinical and economic advantages over existing therapies.
Ion channels are proteins that control the flow of ions, such as sodium, calcium and potassium, into and out of mammalian cells. They are integral to muscle movement, nerve impulse transmission and cardiovascular function. Historically, drugs targeting ion channels have been very successful and still generate well in excess of $6 billion in global sales per annum. In recent years however, efforts at identifying novel ion channel therapeutics have focussed on targeting the pore forming domains of ion channels and despite billions of dollars spent in R&D, this approach has not yet yielded further significant clinical success. This is believed to be mainly because of the side effects associated with the lack of specificity of this approach. Lectus’s next-generation ion channel therapeutics, selectively targeting ion channel accessory proteins, are anticipated to have a significantly enhanced safety profile with resultant therapeutic and economic benefits.