Ario Pharma Ltd has been founded to develop innovative new approaches to treat respiratory disease. Based in Cambridge, UK, Ario Pharma is a spin out from Xention Pharma Ltd, a specialist ion channel R&D company.
Ario Pharma has announced that it has successfully raised £1.9 million ($3.1 million) from an international syndicate of New Science Ventures, Forbion Capital Partners and Seroba Kernel Life Sciences.
The funding will be used to execute two separate Phase 2 trials for the Company’s lead product, XEN-D0501, in chronic idiopathic cough and cough associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). XEN-D0501 is a potential best in class, orally bioavailable inhibitor of TRPV1.
Ario Pharma expects to commence the Phase 2 trials in Q1 2014. XEN-D0501 has successfully completed multiple Phase 1 studies and has been shown to be safe and well tolerated.
The Phase 2 trials will be randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over studies and will use validated ambulatory cough monitoring technology developed by Dr. Jacky Smith from the University Hospital of South Manchester.
The Company’s Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of world-renowned UK experts in respiratory disease including Professor Maria Belvisi and Dr Mark Birrell from the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London and Professor Dave Singh and Dr Jacky Smith from the University of Manchester and University Hospital of South Manchester.
Dr John Ford, CEO of Ario Pharma, commented: “Cough is one of the most common symptoms for which patients seek medical care, and yet current medications are either poorly effective or have serious side effects. There is growing evidence for the involvement of TRP channels in driving cough reflex hypersensitivity and inflammatory responses in diseases associated with cough. We are therefore delighted to have secured investment to fund multiple Phase 2 trials that will evaluate the efficacy of XEN-D0501. We plan to build on the emerging role of TRPV1 in other respiratory diseases and to initiate discovery projects against other TRP channels that play a role in respiratory disease”.