MONTREAL, June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - 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
"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
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
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
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
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
SOURCE Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc.