Laguna Pharma calls it quits after phase 3 CVD drug flop
- Laguna has decided to close up shop after scrapping a key Phase 3 trial, according to a report from Xconomy. The biotech startup was created to develop vanoxerine for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF).
- A little less than one year ago, Laguna raised $30 million in venture financing to take the AF drug from mid-stage to market. However, unspecified safety concerns halted the Phase 3 trial, along with the hopes of the company.
- Investors from Versant, Frazier, Biomed, and Sante all had contributed to the creation of the company, which was led by former Amira head Bob Baltera.
Ironically, investors had been attracted to the safety profile of vanoxerine. The original developer, ChanRx, had released safety data from a mid-stage study last fall. Whether the mid-stage data were not sufficient to foresee the safety problems, or the analysis was faulty, the outcome is the same. The planned recruitment of 600 subjects for a phase 3 trial will not continue, and the company will cease operations.