University of Sheffield spinout company Diurnal announces £30 million fundraising to bring pharmaceutical products to market

A University of Sheffield spin-out company, which develops innovative treatment for patients with hormone deficiencies, will be bringing its products to market after raising £30m by selling shares on London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market.

Diurnal Group plc was formed based on the research work of Professor Richard Ross, an expert in endocrinology from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Oncology and Human Metabolism. The company develops hormone therapeutics to aid lifelong treatment for rare and chronic endocrine conditions.
Professor Ross, who is also the Chief Scientific Officer of Diurnal, said the new funds would allow the company to accelerate the development of its two lead product candidates which are in, or expected to commence shortly, late-stage clinical development.
Both products are aimed at targeting diseases of cortisol deficiency – patients with the condition suffer from fatigue, poor quality of life and a higher mortality rate. Currently the condition is poorly controlled on existing therapies.
Diurnal’s Chronocort will be aimed at congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) in adults, and Infacort for adrenal insufficiency, including CAH in children. Infacort is anticipated to receive its first regulatory approval in Europe in the late summer of 2017.
Professor Ross said he was delighted to see the two products go from concept to late stage clinical trials. He added:

“Our vision is to become the world’s leading endocrinology specialty pharma company targeting under-served patient needs in chronic hormonal diseases.”

Sarah Fulton, Director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Sheffield, said:

We are delighted to see effective collaborative working over a number of years leading to deserved success for Diurnal with the potential to have such an important impact on the quality of individual lives.”

Diurnal launched in 2004 and is now based in Cardiff. It is estimated 488,000 people in EU and USA suffer with CAH or adrenal insufficiency and could benefit from the new products.
Dr Martin Whitaker, Chief Executive of Diurnal Group Plc, said:

We are excited to be entering this new chapter in Diurnal’s evolution. This IPO is a major milestone for the Company which would not have been possible without the hard work of our employees. We also wish to thank our existing investors for their continuing support and welcome our new shareholders.”

Human brain. Computer artwork of a human head showing the brain inside.
Human brain. Computer artwork of a human head showing the brain inside.

About Diurnal

Diurnal is a UK-based specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing high-quality hormone therapeutics to aid lifelong treatment for rare and chronic endocrine conditions, including Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Adrenal Insufficiency, Hypogonadism and Hypothyroidism.

The company has a strong, multi-skilled entrepreneurial management team with extensive pharmaceutical product development experience and an affiliated network of world-class clinical experts in the area of endocrinology.

For further information

http://www.ipgroupplc.com/media/ip-group-news/2015/2015-12-21

http://www.diurnal.co.uk/

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