Xention, a Cambridge-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of ion channel-modulating drugs, was awarded $2.4 million from the Technology Strategy Board, a U.K. innovation agency, to progress its novel IKAChchannel blockers through preclinical development.
Xention is developing a pipeline of innovative products for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), an indication for which there is high unmet medical need, by targeting key ion channels. IKAChrepresents a new target for the treatment of AF, inhibition of which is expected to halt and prevent the recurrence of AF. Using its proprietary platform, Xention has identified a series of potent and selective modulators of IKACh, which also appear differentiated from other IKACh inhibitors in their activity on human atrial tissue from AF patients.
The Biomedical Catalyst funding award, made by the Technology Strategy Board, will support the characterization of a selection of Xention's advanced IKACh inhibitors and the progression of one compound through a full preclinical development program, while at the same time undertaking all manufacturing activities required for subsequent clinical development. If successful, the co-funded research will lead to the clinical evaluation of a potential breakthrough therapy for patients with AF.
In addition to its IKACh program, Xention and Servier Laboratories are conducting clinical studies of XEN-D0103, a modulator of IKur (Kv1.5), another cardiac potassium channel thought to be important in AF. Xention recently granted an option to Servier to develop and commercialize XEN-D0103 in all territories except the U.S. and Japan.