Pharmaceutical company Lung Therapeutics recently announced an initial closing of $1,550,000 on its Series A Preferred Stock financing, which is comprised of $550,000 in converted debt, as well as a remaining funding of $1,200,000 associated with the fulfillment of milestones. The total new funding may reach $2,750,000, thanks in part to a partnership between the Dallas/Fort Worth-based enterprises Steelhead Capital Management and Bios Research.
“We are pleased to have our initial funding in place so that we can accelerate our efforts to improve therapeutic options for patients suffering from lung injury and disease,” said the CEO of the company, Brian Windsor, a Texan businessman who also holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Texas at Austin. “By focusing on orphan drug indications related to fibrosis, Lung Therapeutics intends to address a range of currently underserved disease conditions.”
Lung Therapeutics has been focused on three areas of studies related to lung diseases for which there is no effective therapeutic option available, and is currently engaged in research programs to study LTI-01, for the treatment of Pleural Effusion (PE) with Loculation, LTI-02 for Acute Lung Injury (ALI), and LTI-03, a therapy for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The company had already been successful in discovering grant funding for the early development and pre-clinical work, and the Steelhead Capital Management/Bios Research partnership’s investment was based on the believe on Lung Therapeutics’ potential.
“Lung Therapeutics has three unique and important therapeutics focused on unmet needs in pulmonology,” said the President and LTI investor of Bios Research, Aaron Fletcher, PhD. “Their scientists have generated tremendous NIH support and were perfectly positioned for private funding to move the company into clinical trials. We believe that LTI is poised to complete a major transaction within the next few years.”
The funding is particularly important for the development of Lung Therapeutics’ lead investigational product, LTI-01, an orphan drug for the treatment of lung injury and disease. The drug candidate is expected to help patients suffering from located pleural effusion, in reducing fibrinous scars in the lung cavity, in order to enable the draining of fluid, without the need for a surgical procedure.
Draining the fluid from the lung cavities is crucial in pleural effusion, as the disease is characterized by the fulfillment of the spaces surrounding the lungs with fluid, which causes reduction of the lung function. In addition, the fibrinous scar tissue may enhance the pleural space, making it more difficult for the fluid to naturally drain. This is why an intervention is needed, and LTI-01 aims to clear it pharmaceutically, as the treatment is comprised of a unique and injectable fibrinolytic drug.
Lung Therapeutics not only expects LTI-01 to become a first in class therapeutic option for the treatment of pleural effusion with loculation, but they also expect to be able to address an unmeet need and enter a global market that involves more than $300 million dollars. In addition to the funding efforts, the company is also looking to gain orphan drug designation status in order to accelerate its development and plans on start LTI-01 clinical trials next year.
Last March, the start-up was admitted to the University of Texas at Austin IC2 Institute’s Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), in recognition of its promising work, and as a consequence of being awarded by both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with more than $12 million in grants to develop LT1-01, and the UT Horizon Fund with seed funding.