San Diego-based Neurana Pharmaceuticals raised $60 million in Series A financing for a relaxant that looks to treat acute, painful muscle spasms.

The early-stage round was led by Sofinnova Ventures and included participation from New Leaf Venture Partners, H.I.G. BioHealth Partners, Longitude Capital and MagnaSci Ventures.

The funds will go toward tolperisone, a skeletal muscle relaxant that’s widely used in Europe and Asia. Neurana has an exclusive license from Sanochemia AG to develop and commercialize a patented composition of tolperisone that meets regulatory guidelines in North America.

Tolperisone doesn’t sedate patients, filling an unmet medical need, states the company.

"Approximately 65 million prescriptions are written each year for the treatment of acute, painful muscle spasms. However, all approved treatment options have been shown to be sedating in both clinical trials and routine clinical usage," said David F. Hale, chairman and interim president & CEO of Neurana. "These sedating effects impact the personal and professional lives of patients, affecting their ability to function and potentially impairing their ability to drive a vehicle when taking skeletal muscle relaxants to treat acute, painful muscle spasms.”

Neurana plans to commence a Phase 2 clinical trial later this year to further gauge the safety and efficacy of tolperisone in subjects with acute, painful neuromuscular spasms of the neck and back.

In connection with the financing, new members will join Hale and Brian Dorsey on the board: David Kabakoff of Sofinnova Ventures; Dan Becker of New Leaf Venture Partners; Alex Zisson of H.I.G. BioHealth Partners; and Josh Richardson of Longitude Capital.