Lectus Therapeutics Ltd, the drug discovery and development company focusing on next-generation ion channel modulators, has won ERBI’s 2007 Innovation in Drug Discovery and Development Award.
ERBI’s judging panel, made up of representatives from Europe’s largest biotech cluster based around Cambridge, selected Lectus to receive the award based on the significant achievements and progress made by the company.
In December last year, Lectus announced the first proof-of-concept data for one of its lead in-house programmes in preclinical models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain, both difficult and competitive areas. This data also represented a significant milestone for the company by marking a key step towards the transition between research and development.
Lectus’s pipeline contains novel ion channel compounds identified though its proprietary technology, LEPTICS®, for the treatment of pain and urinary incontinence. Lectus’s compounds work through a mechanism of action and overcome side effects seen with conventional ion channel therapeutics.
In April 2006, Lectus announced the aquisition of NeuroServe Ltd, an electrophysiology company that tested compounds for their ability to modulate ion channels. This enabled Lectus to increase the efficiency of its research, expand its intellectual property base and move its headquarters to the Babraham Research Campus, located near Cambridge.
To fund the growth of the business, Lectus closed a series a financing round of £8.2 million, in February 2006: the largest Eurpoean financing for an early-stage drug discovery company since 2004. In this round Lectus attracted two top tier venture investors: Sofinnova Partners and Quester as well as two Japanese corporate investors: Takeda Research Investment, Inc., the corporate venture arm of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Astellas Venture Management.
Roland Kozlowski, CEO of Lectus said: “We are delighted with this award, which further endorses our technology and business strategy. Cambridge is the largest centre for biotech in Europe, so to be recognised over all the other drug discovery and development companies in the region for our work over the last 12 months is fantastic.”
Jeff Solomon, Chief Executive of ERBI said: “Working in the field of ion channels is one of the most challenging areas of drug discovery. Lectus impressed the judges because they have successfuly raised finance and grown the business despite the tough commercial conditions which have forced others to down-size.”
On the back of this award, Lectus has been short-listed for UKTI’s 2007 Bio-Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Awards. The winners of the national competition will be announced at a ceremony to be held in London on 4 July.