Drug developer ChanRx closes series A investment, hires CEO

Drug developer ChanRx has closed a series A round of investment that it will use to fund clinical trials of a pharmaceutical to treat atrial fibrillation.

The Cleveland-area company, which was spun off from pharmaceutical testing firm ChanTest in 2006, didn’t specify the amount of the investment in a prepared statement. The round was led by Austin, Texas-based Sante Ventures with additional funding from Arthur “Buzz” Brown, founder and CEO of ChanTest.

Brown declined to reveal the amount of the investment.

ChanRx is developing vanoxerine, an anti-arrhythmia drug that has demonstrated an ability to restore normal heart rhythm in a human clinical study.


The drug has been shown to be safe in six phase 1 clinical trials. A phase 2a trial showed the drug to have promise in treating patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, a periodically occurring type of irregular heart rhythm. A phase 2b trial is ChanRx’s next step, which the company hopes to begin early next year and wrap up around the end of the year, Brown said.

ChanRx is hoping its phase 2 data will be strong enough to entice a big pharmaceutical company to partner for a pivotal phase 3 trial, Brown said. ChanRx will need to establish a partnership — or land a large venture round — to afford the expensive trial.

Even under the best-case scenario, the drug is likely four years or so away from reaching the market.

Along with the funding announcement, the company said it has hired R.K. Khosla as its CEO. Khosla previously was CEO of stent company Peritec Biosciences.

Last year, ChanRx secured a $250,000 investment from Cleveland nonprofit venture development group JumpStart.


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