Texas biotech Lung Therapeutics closes $36M Series C to advance clinical work for orphan drugs
Happy with the first glimpse of efficacy in one of its orphan pulmonary treatments, Lung Therapeutics is marching on with a fresh $36 million raise.
Both new and existing investors participated in the Series C, though only Dallas/Fort Worth-based Bios Partners has been named. It will pay for a Phase II trial of LTI-01 for patients with loculated pleural effusions as well as a first-in-human study for its potential idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis therapy, LTI-03.
Founder and CSO Steven Idell began working on an LTI-01 at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, Texas, where he continues to see patients. Loculated pleural effusions — or excessive accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity of lungs — is a serious complication of pneumonia that typically requires surgery. While doctors have turned to off-label use of plasminogen activators, they have been associated with bleeding side effects, according to Lung Therapeutics.
LTI-01, on the other hand, is a proenzyme that slowly gets activated in the lung, clearing scar tissues and promoting fluid drainage when taken once daily. As a result, it may reduce overall hospital costs of tending to the disease, Aaron Fletcher of Bios Partner said in a statement.
The Austin-based biotech is more secretive about LTI-03, divulging only that it’s demonstrated anti-fibrotic activity and an ability to resolve lung injury induced by the cancer drug bleomycin in preclinical models.
Brian Windsor, who has led a couple of other biotech ventures in Texas, is the CEO.
Image: Lung Therapeutics