Fonds Bio-Innovation and MSBi Capital invest in Milestone Pharmaceuticals

    MONTREAL, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Fonds Bio-Innovation and MSBi Capital,
two venture capital funds that specialize in the financing of biotechnology
start-ups, have participated in a C$2.75M (US$2.6M) financing round that
Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Milestone") has just closed.
    Milestone develops new therapeutic products to treat inflammatory and
cardiovascular conditions. Based at the Biotechnology Research Institute
(BRI-NRC) in Montreal, Milestone was founded in 2003 by Philippe Douville and
Philippe Lamarre, two experienced biopharmaceutical entrepreneurs, and by MSBi
Capital. The company constituted at its inception a special panel of
pharmacologists and medicinal chemists that proposes development programs for
new chemical entities (NCEs), stemming from known molecule classes and using
clinically-validated mechanisms of action. The NCEs are then tested on
established models, reducing both risk and development time during the
pre-clinical, regulatory and clinical phases.
    Milestone's first program revolves around the development of a topical
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with disease modifying
anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) properties for conditions such as psoriasis,
rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A need for new anti-inflammatory
drugs has emerged following the withdrawal of products such as Vioxx(R)
(Merck) and Bextra(R) (Pfizer). Prior to withdrawal, these drugs generated
several billion dollars in sales world-wide.
    A second program will target the development of new inhibitors from a
well-known class of cardiovascular drugs, which will allow for the treatment
of angina and cardiac arrhythmias.
    "Fonds Bio-Innovation is very pleased to work with Milestone as it
traverses this development phase. In light of its great commercial potential,
this life sciences company aligns with Fonds Bio-Innovation's investment
strategy", said Mr. Jean-Maurice Plourde, CEO of Gestion Bio-Innovation inc.
and of CQVB.
    "Milestone offers a unique business model for investors and we are
enthusiastic about providing continued financial and business support to the
company, notably in light of the rapid progress demonstrated to date in its
drug development programs", said Dr. Cédric Bisson, Partner in charge of Life
Sciences at MSBi Capital.
    "Milestone is highly gratified at MSBi and Fonds Bio-Innovation's
involvement, which will allow the company to accelerate its development
programs for cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory agents" concluded
Dr. Philippe Douville, Chief Executive Officer of Milestone Pharmaceuticals

    About Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc.

    Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Milestone") is a specialty
pharmaceuticals company pursuing reduced-risk programs aimed at developing
small molecules as therapeutic agents for human diseases. Milestone's two
initial products target inflammatory and cardiovascular conditions.
Milestone's goal is to develop these products into early clinical trials
before establishing partnerships or licensing its products to major
pharmaceutical companies. (

    About Fonds Bio-Innovation s.e.c.

    Fonds Bio-Innovation is a limited partnership whose general partner is
Gestion Bio-Innovation Inc., a CQVB subsidiary. Its special partners are
Solidarity Fund QFL and CQVB. Fonds Bio-Innovation s.e.c. offers financing to
biotechnology start-ups in Québec for business structuring, proof of concept,
prototype development, intellectual property protection, identification of
competitive advantage, market niches and marketing strategy.

    About MSBi Capital

    MSBi Capital manages seed and early-stage venture capital funds and helps
entrepreneurs and innovators build successful companies in the sectors of
information technology, life sciences and cleantech. MSBi Capital's
value-added approach to early-stage investing provides portfolio companies
with capital, unique access to intellectual property from its partner academic
institutions and an extensive network of industry partners, advisors and
sector-specific co-investors. MSBi's first fund (MSBi LP), from which this
investment is being made, is a $46-million seed and early-stage venture
capital fund focused on commercializing innovations, predominantly based on
innovative technologies originating from universities of McGill, Sherbrooke
and Bishop's, as well as their affiliated hospitals and research institutes.
For more information, see

For further information:

For further information: Kate Falardeau, Director, Communications &
Marketing, CQVB, (418) 657-3855, extension 212,;
Editorial Contact: Zara Myles, MSBi Capital, (514) 982-9044,

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