San Francisco-based InCarda Therapeutics is taking a big step forward today, unveiling a $42 million B round after getting the company launched on a shoestring budget. The new money from a prominent group of investors puts the company on track to obtain proof-of-concept data for a new inhaled drug to treat incidents of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. And they have some ambitious plans to eventually take the tech out of a hospital setting and into the streets.
Their drug is an inhaled version of an old oral drug called flecainide, which has been sold outside the US to treat PAF. The 15-member staff at InCarda is focused on a rapid response to acute incidents, potentially reducing the number of cardio events experienced by these patients.
The money gives InCarda enough cash for the Phase II, covering about 100 patients with data due at the end of H1 next year. Then they plan to push into Phase III with a few hundred patients in search of an FDA OK for use in a supervised setting.
“That’s the first indication — a hospital or urgent care setting,” where patients can be supervised, says CEO Grace Colón. “The big vision is something that patients can use to treat themselves.” Armed with nebulizers and a portable compressor, this is something the company believes can be used by patients to stop an attack of PAF in 3 to 5 minutes.
“The oral drug was never studied for acute conversion,” she adds, with a small physician-led study for acute care, “and it works fairly well 40-50% for that. It takes an hour or 2 for that conversion to be achieved.”
Colón credits Nektar vet John Patton and a few others for bringing the original company together and focusing it on the IP available. Patton “hired me when the company had no money,” she recalls ruefully. But with the help of angel money from the “friends and family” class, they got their first few hundred thousand in place for a launch, followed by a $5 million A round to get things booted up.
This new syndicate brings in some heavy hitters.
Sofinnova Ventures and HealthCap led the round, which also included new investor Deerfield Management and existing investors Morningside Venture and Asset Management Ventures.
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