Portfolio - Therapeutics


Alan O'Connell

Investing in a healthier heartbeat

Xention is developing small molecule drug therapeutics to treat atrial fibrillation (AF). The company is targeting selective potassium channels believed to be the key ion channels involved in repolarisation and stabilisation of the myocardial cell membrane.

Background: Heart arrhythmias are the leading cause of sudden death, primarily heart attack and stroke. Current drug therapies are relatively poor, with low efficacy and high risk of serious side-effects and toxicities. Xention is developing therapeutics targeting specific atrial channels that are believed to offer the potential for correcting arrhythmia without side-effects.

Our Involvement: We knew the management team at Xention and had tracked the company’s progress over several years. We led the Series D round, working with management and other investors (Forbion CapitalPartners, MVM Life Sciences, Omnes Capital and BTG), and play an active role at the Board level.

Market Need: About 4.5% of adults in the major world economies are affected by AF and more than 1 in 10 are affected in the over-80 age group. AF accounts for roughly one third of all hospital admissions for cardiac rhythm disturbances and increases the risk of stroke by 4-5-fold.

Status: Phase I clinical trial completed.  Currently in Phase IIa testing.



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