Vantia: New irons in the fire
By Mike Flanagan
company is hoping to settle on a once-daily Senior Writer
Vantia Therapeutics Ltd.
dosing regimen in its ongoing Phase IIa trial, Vantia Therapeutics Ltd. spun out
of Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S with a
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., which
lead programs and still have plenty more to Pharma Inc. 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 sanofi-aventis Group 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, Japan
Azevan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Bethlehem, Pa.
Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Ingelheim, Germany
EUSA Pharma Inc., King of Prussia, Pa.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark
GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK), London, U.K.
Sosei Group Corp. (Tokyo:4565), Tokyo, Japan
Vantia Therapeutics Ltd., Southampton, U.K.
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