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Pioneering Cardiff drug development firm Diurnal boosted with a 6m funding

Cardiff Medicentre drug development firm Diurnal boosted with a £6m funding round led by IP Group



Pioneering drug development firm Diurnal based at Cardiff Medicentre has been boosted with a £6m investment round in a deal that will take its innovative products closer to commercialisation.

IP Group has committed up to £4.1m of the £6m, which if fully invested would give it a majority 51.7% stake in the Cardiff-based business.

Diurnal moved to Wales after spinning-out of Sheffield University. It has been backed with equity finance from Finance Wales – which maintains a minority interests in the business

Its lead product Chronocort was recently the subject of a positive phase 2 trial in the treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. It is now due to enter pivotal phase 3 studies in the first half of 2015.

The full £6m fundraising  is subject to certain regulatory milestones being met and will enable Diurnal to complete the phase three programme for Chronocort as well as advance certain other pipeline programmes.

Alan Aubrey, chief executive of IP Group, said: “This funding is intended to support Diurnal through its phase 3 trial as it seeks to bring Chronocort to market.

“Diurnal has made impressive progress this year and is a great example both of the latent value in our biotech division an our commitment to supporting later-stage portfolio companies.”

Diurnal's products have potential to help patients suffering from diseases caused by cortisol deficiency, which include congenital adrenal hyperplasia and adrenal Insufficiency.

Each of these diseases requires life-long treatment and Diurnal’s novel approach to drug delivery has the potential to significantly improve patients’ lives.

Chronocort has already received two related orphan drug designations from the European Medicines Agency, which afford ten years of market exclusivity after the grant of marketing authorisation in Europe.

Earlier this year IP Group acquired Fusion IP also based at Cardiff Medicentre, which has the rights to commercialise research at Cardiff and Sheffield universities.

Published on Tue, 5th Aug 2014

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