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A Bozeman pharmaceutical company, SiteOne Therapeutics Inc., has received the first investment from a new Montana venture capital firm, Next Frontier Capital, also of Bozeman.

SiteOne Therapeutics is developing safer, non-opioid pain relievers for patients who suffer from acute and chronic pain. With its investment, Next Frontier Capital has taken a minority equity position in the company. For competitive reasons, SiteOne wouldn’t say how much it is receiving from Next Frontier Capital. However, Will Price, founder and managing partner of Next Frontier Capital, will join SiteOne’s board of directors.

SiteOne has also received investments from other firms, including 2M Companies Inc., Sears Capital Management, Biobrit LLC, Mission Bay Capital and Z Investments.

Price said the Bozeman-based pharmaceutical company hopes to develop effective pain-reliving drugs that don’t include opiods, which can be addictive.

“SiteOne’s Na 1.7 platform represents a significant breakthrough in non-opioid pain drug development,” Price said. “Given the experienced management team and strong investor syndicate, the company is poised to make a major advancement in new pain therapies and a significant contribution to the growth of Montana’s emerging biotech industry.”

Stan E. Abel, chief executive officer of SiteOne, added, “We are excited to have Next Frontier and 2M join the SiteOne family and look forward to working with them as we continue to make progress with our development programs and expand the organization in Bozeman.”

In a news release, SiteOne said the drug being developed is a “potentially safer and more effective treatment option to replace oral opioid analgesics. Because of the growing problems of overuse and abuse of current oral opioid analgesics, there is a significant unmet medical need for an effective non-addictive treatment for pain.”

SiteOne Therapeutics, headquartered in Bozeman, was founded with technology invented at Stanford University. Company officials said they are developing products that represent a potential revolutionary advancement in the treatment of acute and chronic pain. The company’s therapeutic candidates are highly selective sodium ion channel 1.7 (Na 1.7) inhibitors based on naturally occurring small molecules. Given the critical role Na 1.7 plays in the generation and conduction of pain signals, combined with the urgent need for new, non-opioid pain therapies, SiteOne is focused on advancing its lead product for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Additional opportunities with the company’s technology include long-acting analgesics, PET imaging diagnostics for pain and other pain indications. SiteOne owns worldwide development and commercialization rights to its development programs through an exclusive license from Stanford University.

In May, Next Frontier Capital announced that it’s raising $20 million in venture capital to invest in startup companies, especially firms located in Montana.

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Editor of Billings Business, a publication of The Billings Gazette.