Xention awarded $2.4M from Technology Strategy Board to develop new medicines for atrial fibrillation

The Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, will co-fund the preclinical development of Xention’s novel inhibitors of the cardiac potassium channel, IKACh

Jeffrey Bouley
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CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—Xention Ltd., a Cambridge-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of ion channel-modulating drugs, announced today that it had secured £1.4 million co-funding (approximately $2.4 million) from the Technology Strategy Board, the United Kingdom’s innovation agency, to progress its novel IKACh channel blockers through preclinical development.
Xention is developing a pipeline of innovative products for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), an indication for which there is high unmet medical need, by targeting key ion channels, and IKACh represents an exciting new target for the treatment of AF, inhibition of which is expected to halt and prevent the recurrence of AF. Using its proprietary platform, Xention has identified a series of potent and selective modulators of IKACh, which also appear differentiated from other IKACh inhibitors in their activity on human atrial tissue from AF patients. The company is now well-positioned to advance candidate drugs in its pipeline towards the clinic.
The Biomedical Catalyst funding award, made by the Technology Strategy Board, will support the characterization of a selection of Xention's advanced IKACh inhibitors and the progression of one compound through a full preclinical development program, while at the same time undertaking all manufacturing activities required for subsequent clinical development. If successful, the co-funded research will lead to the clinical evaluation of a potential breakthrough therapy for patients with AF.
In addition to its IKACh programme, Xention and Servier Laboratories are conducting clinical studies of XEN-D0103, a modulator of IKur (Kv1.5), another cardiac potassium channel thought to be important in AF. Xention recently granted an option to Servier to develop and commercialise XEN-D0103 in all territories except the United States and Japan.
Tim Brears, CEO of Xention said: “We are delighted to have succeeded in this competitive process and that the Technology Strategy Board has recognized not only the quality of our program but also the promise IKACh represents as a new target for AF alongside IKur, both of which are key atrial-selective cardiac ion channels.”
SOURCE: Xention news release

Jeffrey Bouley

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