Pharmaceutical company Corthera just took $10 million to close a $23 million third round of funding but is already looking to raise $40 to $50 million in a new fourth round by March to support clinical trials of a drug that could ease symptoms of heart failure, reports VentureWire. Poised for phase three clinical trials, the drug, called Relaxin, is actually a hormone capable of relieving the lung fluid congestion and hypertension that accompany heart failure.

Existing treatments, typically diuretics and vasodilators also used to remove fluid, have proved problematic for patients’ kidneys. Relaxin is a potential solution without the side effects, the company claims. Phase two trials demonstrated the drug’s success in reducing patient breathlessness — which could eventually shorten hospital stays, an important financial boon for hospitals.

If Corthera successfully raises its planned funds, it expects to file for U.S. approval for Relaxin in 2012 and officially commercialize it in 2013. The most recent round came from Caxton Advantage Life Science Fund, Domain Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sears Capital Management.

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