Fusion IP owns the rights to 100% of university-owned research generated at two of the UK's leading universities – The University of Sheffield and Cardiff University. These exclusive partnerships enable us to develop some of the world's most advanced and exciting science, in fields as varied as clean energy, electronics, engineering and medicine; turning world class research into valuable businesses through the creation of portfolio of companies.
Fusion IP Diurnal's key drug moves to Phase II trials
Fusion put up £440,000 of the new funds to maintain its stake in Diurnal at 43.1 per cent.
Diurnal said the £1.2 million funding will enable the company to complete its Phase II trials, due to commence in July 2012, with an estimated Phase II completion date of mid-2013.
Chronocort is a drug delivery system for people suffering from reduced levels of the key hormone cortisol (hydrocortisone).
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia and adrenal insufficiency are the diseases associated with cortisol deficiency and both require life-long treatment.
Victims of adrenal insufficiency, for example, cannot produce enough cortisol, an essential stress hormone, and must administer hydrocortisone in its place.
Chronocort delivers hydrocortisone in a manner that mimics the body's normal cycle.
The new drug has already received two Orphan Drug designations from the European Medicines Agency, which gives it a ten-year exclusive licence once it gets marketing authorisation in Europe.
Peter Grant, operations director for Fusion IP, said: "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, added that if all goes to plan Chronocort could start to generate revenues from 2015.
Cardiff-based Diurnal is a spin-out from the University of Wales, which has granted Fusion IP exclusive access to all IP generated by its research department.
Fusion IP also has a Memorandum of Understanding with Finance Wales, which provides commercial funding to Wales-based SMEs, to co-invest in opportunities arising from the research agreement.
Melanie Goward, senior investment executive at Finance Wales, added: "This is a major turning point for Chronocort and we are pleased to continue to back Diurnal.”