JumpStart Ventures, which invests in and partners with innovative, early-stage companies in Northeast Ohio, announced an investment commitment of $250,000 in drug development company ChanRx. The two-year-old company is developing a pharmaceutical compound to treat atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that affects two million Americans, with 200,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.
Atrial fibrillation is characterized by an irregular beating of the heart caused by misfiring of electrical impulses. The abnormal contracting causes decreased cardiac function, raising the risk of stroke and heart failure. An oral form of ChanRx’s anti-arrhythmia drug, called Vanoxerine, has already demonstrated its ability to restore normal heart rhythm in a human clinical study. The study also showed an improved safety profile, as compared to other drugs in the market or currently in development.
ChanRx, which is a spin-out from parent company ChanTest, will use a majority of the funding and the entrepreneurial development assistance provided by JumpStart Venture Partner, Kevin Mendelsohn, to complete development of an intravenous formulation of Vanoxerine. The intravenous formulation will enable quicker absorption and increased speed to efficacy when compared to other deliveries of the drug.
“Drug therapy is the mainstay of treatment for this condition; unfortunately, the drugs used today have delivered unsatisfactory efficacy and undesirable safety profiles, including links to potentially lethal arrhythmias,” said Arthur “Buzz” Brown, Founder of ChanRx. “ChanRx’s pharmaceutical compound has demonstrated a superior safety profile in six previously conducted Phase I human clinical trials. We also showed in a Phase IIa trial that oral Vanoxerine is effective in restoration of normal cardiac rhythm. Taking the drug from an oral to an IV formulation will improve its effectiveness and this investment from JumpStart Ventures provides us with the resources and assistance we need to accelerate that process.”
This investment represents JumpStart Ventures’ 66th investment in its 49th company.
ChanRx is a Cleveland-based drug development company focused on the commercialization of repurposed drug candidates. The company is a spin-out of ChanTest, a leading pharmaceutical testing service company which has developed the world’s most complete library of validated human ion channel-expressing cell lines to serve all the ion channel needs of its pharmaceutical and biotech customers. ChanRx is developing an intravenous (IV) formulation of a drug to treat atrial fibrillation.
About JumpStart Ventures
JumpStart Ventures invests in and forges partnerships with innovative, early-stage Northeast Ohio companies that have the potential to generate $30 to $50 million in revenues in five to seven years. It helps companies accelerate their time to venture-readiness by bundling guidance from experienced Venture Partners with seed investment capital. JumpStart Ventures is the investment arm of JumpStart Inc., a nationally recognized non-profit organization creating economic transformation by providing resources to entrepreneurs leading high potential early-stage companies.