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Milestone Pharma Banks $55M, Advances Etripamil into Phase III and Expands Headcount



8/1/2017 6:16:43 AM

Milestone Pharmaceuticals Banks $55 Million, Advances Etripamil into Phase III and Expands Headcount August 1, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

MONTREAL – Milestone Pharmaceuticals is enjoying a milestone moment. The company bagged $55 million in funding in funding backed by Novo Holdings, plans to hire some additional staff and is advancing its lead cardiac arrhythmia product into a pivotal Phase III trial.


Privately-held Milestone Pharmaceuticals is pushing etripamil into a late stage trial following positive Phase II data announced in May. Etripamil is a novel, potent, short-acting calcium channel blocker designed to stop paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) episodes when they occur. Etripamil is delivered as a nasal spray. Phase II data showed that etripamil demonstrated statistically significant efficacy compared to placebo for the acute termination of PSVT induced in an electrophysiology laboratory.

PSVT is a condition that afflicts approximately 1.7 million people. People diagnosed with PSVT can experience a dramatic increase in the number of heart beats per minute, sometimes more than 200 beats per minute.

In the Phase II trial, Milestone provided four dosing levels to the 104 participating patients. Results showed that the three higher dosing levels resulted in significantly higher conversion rates compared to placebo. The lowest dosing level did not show a significant results, the company said in May.

There are approximately 600,000 annual healthcare claims resulting from PSVT each year in the United States, Milestone data shows. While the condition isn’t life threatening, patients typically are in distress and seek emergency room assistance. If etripamil is approved, the fast-acting nasal spray could stop those cardiac arrhythmia episodes and cut down on the number of emergency room visits.
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Joseph Oliveto, president and chief executive officer of Milestone, said if etripamil is approved, it would be the only “patient-administered treatment for the acute termination of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.” Oliveto, who took over the reins of Milestone in March, added that the financing from the Series C round will provide the company with the necessary resources to move the drug product through late-stage trials. Milestone is setting up its Phase III sites.

In addition to Novo Nordisk (NVO)’s funding arm Novo Holdings, The $55 million fundraising round was supported by Forbion Capital Partners and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management. Additionally, the company confirmed that existing financial backers Domain Associates, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, BDC Capital, Pappas Capital, and GO Capital also participated in this funding round.

As etripamil moves into Phase III, Milestone is already looking at potential marketing and commercializing of the product. Part of the Series C funding will also be used in pre-launch commercialization activities. In its announcement this morning, Milestone did not specify the number of employees it was looking to add, only noting that it was looking to fill roles in strategic areas that include marketing and medical affairs.


Read at BioSpace.com


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