Durham's CoLucid raises $37.1M to develop migraine treatment

Durham startup CoLucid Pharmaceuticals raised $37.1 million to continue development of a drug it calls the biggest potential breakthrough in the treatment of migraine in more than 20 years.

The funding from eight investors, including Pappas Ventures in Durham, is CoLucid's largest to date, exceeding the $25 million the company raised in 2008 to develop Lasmiditan, the migraine treatment.

Lasmiditan is designed to work on the central nervous system by targeting brain nerve receptors rather than constricting blood vessels and elevating blood pressure like traditional migraine treatments. For this reason it is viewed as an alternative for migraine sufferers with cardiovascular diseases who may not be able to take conventional treatments.

Lasmiditan is being developed as a tablet, oral solution, sublingual application and intravenuous injection.

CoLucid will use the newly raised cash to finance a Phase 3 clinical trial for the migraine medicine. The company's timeline includes plans to file a New Drug Application for Lasmiditan with federal regulators in 2018.

The company was founded in 2005 by Pappas Ventures to develop disorders of the central nervous system. It's also developing treatments for sleep-wake disorders, chronic pain, Alzheimer's disease and psychiatric disorders.