Fusion IP (AIM: FIP), the university commercialisation company which turns university research into business, is pleased to announce that Diurnal has successfully completed its Phase I trial for its lead product, Chronocort® and raised £1.2m to complete the Phase II trial by mid 2013.
Based in Cardiff, Diurnal is developing a novel approach to drug delivery that will help patients suffering from reduced levels of the key hormone cortisol (hydrocortisone). Chronocort® is a modified release therapy that delivers hydrocortisone in a manner that mimics the body’s normal circadian rhythm (the body’s natural 24 hour hormone cycle). This therapeutic approach has the potential to help patients suffering from diseases due to cortisol deficiency: 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.
The funding will enable the company to complete its Phase II trials, which are due to commence in July 2012, with an estimated Phase II completion date of mid-2013.
Chronocort® has already received two related Orphan Drug designations from the European Medicines Agency, which affords ten years of market exclusivity after the grant of marketing authorisation in Europe.
Fusion IP invested £440k in the round and as a result its shareholding remains at 43.1 %.
Peter Grant, Operations Director for Fusion IP, commented:
“This is tremendous news for Diurnal. The Phase I results were excellent and the company is now moving immediately to start it’s Phase II trials. With results due in mid-2013, we are very excited about Diurnal’s prospects.”
Martin Whitaker, General Manager at Diurnal Ltd, added:
"Diurnal is delighted to announce both these results and the funding that will take us to completion of the Phase II study next year. If all things go to plan we expect the drug to generate revenues from 2015
Melanie Goward, Senior Investment Executive at Finance Wales, commented:
“This is a major turning point for Chronocort® and we are pleased to continue to back Diurnal, as it moves to completion of a successful Phase II study in 2013.”