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REPRINT FROM NOVEMBER 27, 2008
Vantia: New irons in the fire
By Mike Flanagan
company is hoping to settle on a once-daily
Vantia Therapeutics Ltd.
dosing regimen in its ongoing Phase IIa trial,
Vantia Therapeutics Ltd.
of Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S
portfolio of small molecules that includes a
with disease-modifying potential. The com-
pressin 2 agonist in Phase II testing to treat
nocturia, a urinary disorder, will comple-
Phase I testing for nocturia, SOU-003 from
Sosei Group Corp.
, was recently discon-
tinued for undisclosed reasons. Phillips said
that left Vantia with a first-mover advantage
rhea, a condition characterized by severe
mercializing VA106483 itself, which would
require calling on primary care doctors, and
out of an R&D review at Ferring, in which
and biologics, leaving the small molecules
In March, a syndicate of investors led by
which began Phase I testing this month for
Patents: Eight issued, including six cov-
dysmenorrhea. Phillips said unlike NSAIDs
or off-label oral contraceptives, which don’t
million ($38.4 million). Ferring retains a
act directly on the womb, VA111913 blocks
cells lining the uterus that are responsible
company were the strong research capabili-
ties and huge library of characterized and
clude Avodart dutasteride, a 5-alpha reduc-
targeted small molecules against an array of
tase inhibitor from GlaxoSmithKline plc
means we have the potential to partner our
ceptor alpha 1 antagonist from Astellas
Azevan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
lead programs and still have plenty more to
and Boehringer Ingelheim
completed a Phase I trial in dysmenorrhea
bring forward,” said Phillips, who was CEO
earlier this year and is scheduled to enter a
at Talisker Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a neurol-
ogy-play acquired by EUSA Pharma Inc.
drugs only work to shrink the prostate and
also had moved
do not provide relief for many patients.
“Our agent targets the kidneys to relieve the
into Phase II testing in dysmenorrhea. The
merly VT483), is an oral vasopressin 2 (V2)
compound “showed good efficacy but seems
receptor agonist that works directly on the
curs in nine out of 10 men with BPH, and is
to have had some liver toxicity issues” that
caused the pharma to shelve it, according to
trated, causing a decrease in urine produc-
tion. Earlier this month, the company started
a U.K. Phase IIa trial to treat nocturia, which
adults or children in Phase I testing, and a
problem: “The chemistry of our agent is far
is the frequent need to urinate often associ-
clear pharmacodynamic effect emerged. The
BioCentury, THE BERNSTEIN REPORT ON BIOBUSINESS
REPRINT FROM NOVEMBER 17, 2008
Emerging Company Profile,
from previous page
removed from the sanofi compound, and it has shown a clean profile in preclinicaltesting and high bioavailability,” said Phillips.
Vantia plans to move into a proof-of-concept Phase IIa trial next year before
finding a partner for Phase III testing and commercialization.
In addition to its two lead programs, which were in or near the clinic when Vantia
spun out of Ferring, the company also has advanced a portfolio of small moleculeinhibitors of kallikreins, a family of serine proteases involved in inflammatoryresponses.
The most advanced of these is VA118020, a first-in-class tissue kallikrein (KLK1)
inhibitor in preclinical testing for asthma and rhinitis. Vantia hopes to be ready tobegin Phase I testing by YE09.
The £19 million raised earlier this year should provide the company with two
Astellas Pharma Inc.
(Tokyo:4503), Tokyo, JapanAzevan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
, Bethlehem, Pa.
Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH
, Ingelheim, Germany
EUSA Pharma Inc.
, King of Prussia, Pa.Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S
, Copenhagen, Denmark
(LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK), London, U.K.
Sosei Group Corp.
(Tokyo:4565), Tokyo, JapanVantia Therapeutics Ltd.
, Southampton, U.K.
KAREN BERNSTEIN, Ph.D.
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