Diurnal, the physiological hormone replacement company, completed a £600,000 (USD $1M; Euro €650K) investment round led by Fusion IP PLC, the university commercialisation company which turns university research into business, and Finance Wales. Both Fusion IP and Finance Wales invested £300,000 (USD $500K; Euro €325K. Diurnal will have a post money valuation of £2 million (USD $3.3M; Euro €2.2M).
Diurnal is developing novel physiological approaches to drug delivery which will help patients suffering from reduced cortisol and testosterone levels. Diurnal, headquarted in Cardiff (Wales, UK), has developed Chronocort® a delayed and sustained release therapy to deliver 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 with deficiencies in the hormone cortisol who suffer from Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and Adrenal Insufficiency. These conditions require life-long treatment and Diurnal's novel approach to drug delivery has the potential to drastically improve patients' lives.
Working closely with Penn Pharmaceuticals (Wales, UK), a Tredegar-based pharmaceutical services company and Simbec Research located in Merthyr Tydfil (Wales, UK), Diurnal will utilise the funds raised to continue to develop its new formulation approach to endocrine therapy and to complete Phase I clinical trials of its lead product Chronocort® for adrenal insufficiency in H2 2010. The product, 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.
Martin Whitaker, General Manager at Diurnal Ltd, commented:
"Diurnal's product pipeline has the potential to help many patients with hormone deficiencies that disrupt the body's natural clock. Our lead compound Chronocort® is focused on delivering a delayed and sustained release therapy. Following positive preclinical results and today's fundraising, Chronocort® is poised to enter Phase I clinical trials next year. In addition, it has significant market potential and has already received Orphan Drug Designation potentially giving it market exclusivity in Europe."
David Baynes, Chief Executive Officer of Fusion IP, added:
"Diurnal's endocrine therapies have great potential for patients suffering from hormone deficiencies. Taking Chronocort® into phase I clinical trials next year is a major step forward for Diurnal and we are delighted to see the company making such positive progress."
Jocelyn Brown, Associate at Finance Wales, said:
"This latest funding round accelerates Diurnal's commitment to creating niche therapeutics targeting areas of greatest unmet patient need. The continuing success of Diurnal is underpinned by their strong partners within the Welsh biosciences community, and we're pleased to be investing in such a dynamic, forward-looking company".