Milestone reaches $55m series C

BDC Capital and Fonds de solidarité FTQ both returned for a third round in Milestone that was led by new investor Novo.

Milestone Pharmaceuticals, a Canada-based developer of therapies aimed at cardiovascular conditions, raised $55m in series C funding yesterday from investors including BDC Capital, the investment arm of state-owned Business Development Bank of Canada.

Fonds de solidarité FTQ, the capital development organisation for Quebec, also participated in the round, which was led by pharmaceutical firm Novo. Additional investors included Forbion Capital Partners, Domain Associates, Pappas Capital, Go Capital and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management.

Founded in 2005, Milestone Pharmaceuticals is working on treatments for cardiovascular conditions. Its lead candidate, etripamil, is a fast-acting nasal spray for patients suffering from paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) episodes.

PSVT causes heart palpitations and increases the heart rate significantly to more than 200 beats per minute. The condition is not life threatening, but often results in emergency visits to the hospital by worried patients.

The money will be used to advance etripamil into a phase 3 clinical trial as well as to produce clinical and commercial supplies and to pre-launch commercialisation efforts. The money will also drive recruitment, particularly in marketing and medical affairs.

Nilesh Kumar, partner at Novo’s corporate venturing arm Novo Ventures, will join Milestone’s board of directors, as will Marco Boorsma, partner at Forbion Capital Partners. Meanwhile, Daniel Omstead, chief executive at Tekla, will join as an observer.

In 2015, Milestone raised $17m in a series B round led by Domain Associates with participation from Fonds de solidarité FTQ, BDC Capital, Pappas Ventures, Go Capital and iNovia Capital.

BDC, Pappas and Go previously co-led a $13m series A round in 2011 with the support of Fonds de solidarité FTQ and iNovia. In 2007, Fonds Bio-Innovation and iNovia (then known as MSBi Capital) supplied $2.6m in seed funding.

Didier Leconte, senior director for investments in life science at Fonds de solidarité FTQ, said: "We welcome colleagues from Novo, Forbion and Tekla to our existing investor group which supported Milestone through achievement of proof of concept in its phase 2 program.

"We look forward to working together as Milestone builds future value and executes the phase 3 plan."

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