Clinical-stage biotechnology company Latigo Biotherapeutics has secured $135m in a Series A funding round to advance the development of its non-opioid pain medicines.

The financing was led by venture capital company Westlake Village BioPartners with significant contributions from Corner Ventures while 5AM Ventures and Foresite Capital participated as co-leads.

The company, which specialises in creating therapies that target pain at its source, utilises advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and design techniques to develop new drugs.

The drugs are optimised for potency and selectivity against targets validated by human genetics.

Latigo appointed Westlake operating partner Dr Desmond Padhi as interim CEO and Neuron23 CEO Nancy Stagliano as chair of the board.

The latest financing will bolster the development of Latigo’s portfolio of pain therapeutics and support the expansion of the company and its technological platform.

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Incubated by Westlake in 2020 and based in the US, Latigo focuses on non-opioid pain medication development.

Its lead programme, LTG-001, is an oral, selective inhibitor of Nav1.8 and is currently undergoing a Phase I clinical trial.

The trial has enrolled healthy subjects to investigate both acute and chronic pain.

Latigo has also developed a range of Nav1.8 inhibitors and a pipeline of new genetically identified targets with small molecule programmes currently in the discovery stage.

Dr Padi stated: “It is particularly gratifying for me to participate in the evolution of Latigo over the past several years since its inception.

“With a strong syndicate of investors and the significant capital we’ve raised, we are well positioned to build a company that provides new therapeutic options to patients with pain.

“Latigo’s targets are identified by human genetics, grounded in human biology, and characterised using state-of-the-art human model systems. This combination increases our probability of success across the development continuum.”