Nascent company has raised £4 million to fund a Phase II study with lead candidate XEN-D0501.

Cambridge, U.K.-based Xention has established a new firm, Provesica, to develop its early clinical-stage overactive bladder (OAB) candidate XEN-D0501. Owned by Xention’s existing shareholders, the new firm has raised £4 million (about $6.3 million) in equity financing to fund a Phase II study with XEN-D0501 in OAB patients. Xention will provide Provesica with services to support the OAB project

Spinning out a new firm to focus on the OAB program will allow Xention to continue its in-house development of drugs for cardiac arrhythmia, together with ion-channel discovery research across multiple therapeutic fields, the firm points out. “Cardiac arrhythmia and OAB represent two very different pharmaceutical business fields,” notes Tim Brears, Xention CEO. “Spinning out our OAB drug development program into a separate business vehicle will allow Xention to focus its product development on our two potential breakthrough programs in atrial fibrillation.”

Xention has developed two clinical-stage AF candidates that selectively target Kv1.5. XEN-D0101 has been assessed in a Phase I safety study, and is currently in a Phase I proof-of-mechanism electrophysiology study at multiple European sites.

The second candidate, XEN-D0103, is more potent and more selective that XEN-D0101, the firm maintains. This candidate recently completed preclinical development and has demonstrated efficacy in a canine model of AF in the clinical setting.

A third AF program targeting IKACh is undergoing lead optimization. Xention claims evaluation of resulting compounds in preclinical AF models indicates their potential to reduce AF duration and extend atrial refractory period.

In November Xention raised £8 million (roughly $12.6 million) series in a Series D financing round to fund additional clinical development of its AF pipeline.

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