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Trino Therapeutics Secures $12 Million in Series A Investment

5/28/2013 7:44:44 AM

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28 May 2013 -- DUBLIN, IRELAND: May 28th 2013, TRINO THERAPEUTICS LTD (‘Trino’) a drug discovery and early drug development company focused on anti-inflammatory therapeutics, today announced that it has raised more than €9 million (US $ 12million) in Series A financing from new investors, Fountain Healthcare Partners and founding investor, the Wellcome Trust. Other investors in Trino include Enterprise Ireland and Growcorp. Both the Wellcome Trust and Fountain Healthcare Partners will be represented on the board of directors.

The company is developing PH46A, the lead candidate from a novel, proprietary, class of drugs which was inspired by the indane scaffold molecule derived from a Taiwanese fern. PH46A is a potential first-in-class drug for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which could be used in both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD).

“Our commitment to Trino is a strong validation of the quality of the investment opportunity in Irish biomedical research, particularly in areas such as immunology and gastroenterology”, noted Dr. Ena Prosser, Fountain Healthcare Partners.

Other molecules in Trino’s drug class show promise with broad anti-inflammatory activity that could be suitable for applications in dermatology, pulmonary and auto-immune disease and the company will work to develop these compounds internally and in partnership with major international research centres.

The additional funding from the Wellcome Trust is in the form of a prestigious, international and highly competitive Strategic Translation Award.

Dr Richard Seabrook, Head of Business Development at the Wellcome Trust commented, “Current treatments for inflammatory bowel diseases often have significant side effects and patients are faced with tough decisions in how to manage their condition. We are pleased to extend our successful partnership with Trino to support the development of PH46A as a potential new therapy for these debilitating disorders.”

The company was founded by pharmacologist Prof Neil Frankish and medicinal chemist Prof Helen Sheridan centred on their highly innovative work on pharmaceutical grade drugs based on the indane skeleton as derived from a Taiwanese fern, used historically in plant-based medicine.

Commenting on this investment on behalf of the company Prof Frankish said, “This significant investment validates our research, enabling us to expand the Trino team and develop our clinical partnerships so that we can investigate the effectiveness of our research where it is needed - in patients with inflammatory diseases and ineffective drugs”.

Initial funding of €2.2M from this syndicate was used to complete GMP manufacture and pre-clinical testing. The additional €7M investment will be used to bring the drug through formal First in Man testing in healthy volunteers, to identify the international clinical investigator network to run the patient studies and to complete initial Phase II testing of PH46A in mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

For further information or to speak with Professor Neil Frankish and/or Dr Ena Prosser please contact:

Eilish Joyce, FTI Consulting, +353 1 663 3609 /

About Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.

About Fountain Healthcare Partners

Fountain Healthcare Partners (“Fountain”) is a life science focused venture capital fund headquartered in Dublin, Ireland with a second office in New York, US. Fountain specialises in making investments in biotechnology, medical device, specialty pharma and diagnostic companies.

About Trino Therapeutics Ltd.

Trino Therapeutics is a spin-out company from Prof Neil Frankish and Prof Helen Sheridan from the School of Pharmacy at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. The company is developing drug candidates from a novel, proprietary, class of drugs based on indane dimers derived from a Taiwanese fern. Its lead candidate is a potential first-in-class drug for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which could be used in both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). Trino’s drug class also offers promising candidates with a broad anti-inflammatory activity that could be suitable for applications in dermatology, pulmonary and auto-immune disease.

About Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affecting the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease, which means that it is on-going and once someone has been diagnosed with UC it means that they will probably always have it. Age of onset shows a peak at 15-25 years, although the disease can occur in people of any age However, 20-25% of all cases of ulcerative colitis occur in persons aged 20 years or younger. UC may result because the immune system is not working properly. However, researchers have yet to find out for sure and this is why treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms rather than identifying and removing the cause.

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