Startups, Venture

Milestone Pharma grabs an $80M round as it steams into pivotal trial work, starts outlining commercial structure

Eleven years after it got started, Milestone Pharmaceuticals has gained the $80 million it needs to explore in a pivotal study whether its new cardio drug works as expected. And there’s enough money in the package to start laying the foundation of a marketing effort.

Joseph Oliveto

Based in Montreal, Milestone has been patiently working on a drug called etripamil, a calcium channel blocker that Milestone has formulated into a nasal spray for quick release to halt tachycardias.

In the vast majority of cases, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia — or PSVT — is not dangerous. But patients who experience these cases often can’t tell that, rushing off to the ER complaining of heart palpitations. 

In a mid-stage dose-ranging study, investigators tracked a high success rate in quelling the symptoms of PSVT in the three highest dose cohorts, with conversion rates of 65% to 95%. The placebo arm registered a 35% success rate, giving them the statistical significance they were looking for.

“As our registration program for etripamil in PSVT is progressing well, we are now increasingly focused on our commercial preparedness and, at the same time, looking to expand our pipeline,” said CEO Joseph Oliveto in a statement.

New investors included RTW Investments, which led the round, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners and Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group. Existing investors included Novo Holdings A/S, Forbion, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, Domain Associates, BDC Capital, Pappas Capital, GO Capital, and Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Novo Holdings led the C round, which occurred in July 2017.

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