Latigo launches with $135 million for Vertex-competing pain drug

A new biotech startup called Latigo Biotherapeutics has launched with $135 million in funding after being incubated by California VC Westlake Village BioPartners for three years. The startup is developing a non-opioid pain medicine called LTG-001, currently in Phase 1 trial, that aims to block pain-signaling neurons by targeting a sodium channel called NaV 1.8. Westlake identified a need for new pain medicines and decided to develop its own due to a lack of high-quality molecules in development. NaV 1.8 is seen as a promising option for a non-addictive pain medicine that doesn’t affect the central nervous system, digestion, or heart rate like opioids.

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