Laval, Quebec’s LQT Therapeutics, a new life science company focused on treating Long QT Syndrome, has raised C$1.8 million in a seed-stage financing. The investors include Fonds de solidarité FTQ.
LAVAL, QC, Jan. 8, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – LQT Therapeutics, Inc. (“LQTT”), a newly formed life-science company, today announced it has raised up to C$1.8 Million in seed funding led by Fonds de solidarité FTQ and other founding investors. LQTT aims to develop a series of preclinical compounds to provide a new treatment option for patients with Long QT Syndrome (“LQTS”) and other cardia arrhythmias. LQTS is a rare genetic heart rhythm condition causes rapid, chaotic heartbeats or arrhythmias due to a prolonged QT interval.
These arrhythmias, called Torsades des Pointes, may result in a sudden fainting spell or seizure, cardiac arrest, and in some cases, sudden cardiac death. According to the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, one out of 7,000 people living in the US may have LQTS with an estimated 3,000-4,000 deaths in children and young adults each year. People who have Long QT Syndrome have few signs or symptoms and may only become aware of their condition due to a serious cardiac event, an electrocardiogram, family history, or genetic testing.
The scientific founders, Dr. Anthony Rosenzweig MD, Dr. David Milan MD and Dr. Saumya Das MD PhD, are physician scientists with first-hand experience of taking care of patients with long QT syndrome. “The consequences of undiagnosed or poorly treated Long QT Syndrome can be debilitating and life threatening”, commented the founders. “Patients with Long QT Syndrome must avoid strenuous exercise or competitive sports as well as certain medications that can precipitate lethal cardiac arrhythmias. The continued monitoring for arrhythmias, and the lack of safe medications to prevent these arrhythmias adversely affect a person’s quality of life. Therefore, the promise of a new treatment option which specifically targets the underlying disease, provides hope of returning these people to a normal and active life.”
Current therapies for the treatment of LQTS are limited to interventions that slow the heart rate such as beta-blockers; implantable defibrillators which restore normal rhythm by providing an electrical shock directly to the heart; substantial lifestyle modifications including diet, exercise limitations; and reduced daily activities designed to reduce potential triggers for LQTS. The funding provided by the Fonds will allow us to continue to advance pre-clinical development of a series of novel compounds in an effort to bring a treatment to people in need.
“Our research has uncovered a unique and novel therapeutic approach to modulate electrical properties of certain sodium channels which are potentially important in the treatment of Long QT Syndrome. We’re eager to see these discoveries move forward in a way that can help our patients,” noted Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, Chief of Cardiology and Co-Director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, Massachusetts General Hospital.
“The Fonds has been present in the field of biotechnology for more than 30 years and our investment in LQTT is the first of a new initiative under which the Fonds will support the ecosystem in Québec and elsewhere in Canada by acting as a founding shareholder along with successful entrepreneurs to create and scale lasting biotech companies,” Didier Leconte, Vice President for Investments, Life Sciences and Funds-of-funds at Fonds de solidarité FTQ. “This is another demonstration of Fonds’s commitment towards the biotechnology industry.”
With the help of financing from Fonds de solidarité FTQ, the newly formed team at LQTT will explore a class of molecules and licensed intellectual property targeting a unique pathway for the treatment of LQTS and other cardiovascular arrythmias. LQT Therapeutics core technology is the result of research conducted by Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, David Milan, MD, PhD and Saumya Das MD, PhD with support from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Initial start-up team members will include Dr. Philip Sager, one of the Company’s Founders, Paul F. Truex, MBA, and Marc Vidal, PhD. Current and future team members will be located at Québec’s Center for Biotechnology Innovation (“CQIB”) in Laval, Québec. In addition, Saumya Das, MD, PhD and David Milan, MD, PhD will provide scientific oversight and clinical insights as eventual members of the LQTT Board of Directors. They will join Paul F. Truex, Philip Sager, MD, Marc Vidal, PhD, and Serge Langford from Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Details can be found at the company’s website www.lqttrx.com.
About LQT Therapeutics
LQT Therapeutics (“LQTT”) is a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing therapies for the treatment of all forms of Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). LQTS is a rare orphan disorder effecting an estimated 1 in 7,000 people in the United States. LQTS often goes undiagnosed and is believed to result in 3,000 to 4,000 sudden deaths in children and young adults each year in the United States. More details about LQTS can be found at www.sads.org.
LQTT was founded on discoveries and innovations of its three scientific founders in collaboration with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, Chief of Cardiology and Co-Director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, Massachusetts General Hospital; Saumya Das, MD, PhD, Co-Director of Resynchronization and Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics Program, Massachusetts General Hospital; and David Milan, MD, Chief Scientific Officer of the Leducq. All will continue to provide scientific and clinical leadership for the LQTT’s development initiatives.
LQTT is pioneering a precision medicine approach to its discovery and development efforts by: exploiting advancements in genetic identification of Long QT Syndrome and its various sub-types; Targeting unique biomechanical causes of each sub-type of Long QT Syndrome; efficiently selecting appropriate small-molecule therapeutics to target specific biological pathways to interrupt adverse cardiac signalling; and working with scientific and clinical leaders worldwide to broaden our portfolio to include treatments for all subtypes of LQTS. LQTT’s initial focus will be to develop small molecule inhibitors targeted at a kinase responsible for electrical and mechanical remodelling of ion channels which cause Long QT Syndrome. More details about the company are available at www.lqttrx.com
About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a development capital investment fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments. As at November 30, 2019, the organization had $16.7 billion in net assets, and through its current portfolio of investments supports over 215,000 jobs. The Fonds is a partner in more than 3,100 companies and today has more than 700,000 shareholder-savers.