London, UK, 16 December 2008 York Pharma plc, the AIM-listed (AIM: YRK) strategic acquirer, developer and marketer of pharmaceutical products in the field of dermatology, today announces that it has received programme-related funding of £100,014 from the Wellcome Trust as a Translation Award for the development of a cell-free dressing to accelerate re-epithelialisation in partial thickness burns wounds.
In consideration of this funding, the Company can confirm that 526,389 York Pharma 5p ordinary shares (the “Placing Shares”) have been conditionally placed with the Wellcome Trust at a price of 19 pence per share. Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange plc for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM. It is expected that the Placing Shares will be admitted to trading on AIM and that dealings in such shares will commence on 19 December 2008.
• Following the acquisition of Flammazine™, Flammacerium™, Myskin™ and Cryoskin™, York Pharma plc has taken a strong strategic position in the woundcare market;
• The Wellcome Trust provides Translation Awards for the development of novel, innovative healthcare products and medicines;
• The Translation Award granted to York Pharma plc by the Wellcome Trust will assist York in developing a cell-free dressing to accelerate re-epithelialisation in partial thickness burns wounds. The approach aims to accelerate keratinocyte migration and reduce the ability of keratinocytes to contract the wound bed. York will combine this approach with in house plasma polymer technology to promote guidance of the cells to the wound area.
• With the acquisition of the assets of CellTran™, York Pharma now owns a MHRA accredited GMP production facility for Myskin™ and Cryoskin™ and is able to produce GMP material for the woundcare market. The novel dressing will complement the current product portfolio and form part of the normal treatment regimen for burns patients.
Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, said:
“Development of specialist healthcare products is often an overlooked area commercially due to the predominant ‘blockbuster’ mentality. We are very pleased to apply translational funding toward specialist healthcare needs especially when the intervention being developed originates from a strong scientific concept.”
Terry Sadler, Chief Executive of York Pharma, commented:
“We are delighted with the award from the Wellcome Trust which affords us the opportunity to develop a much needed product in the treatment of burns that compliments our four current products in our woundcare portfolio. The Wellcome Trust is respected world-wide for supporting the very highest quality research and its support endorses our commitment to develop novel, innovative products with a sound scientific basis."
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is the largest charity in the UK. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending over £600 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing. http://www.wellcome.ac.uk
About the woundcare market
The global wound care market is huge. Estimates range for US$ 7 billion to US$ 13 billion, depending on source and exact market definition. The majority of the market is made up of ‘traditional’ wound care such as gauzes, bandages and other dressings. Advanced wound care therapies (which include CellTran’s products) make up a significant proportion of the market. More significantly, the advanced market is growing rapidly as there is a gradual transition from traditional to advanced treatments. Frost and Sullivan valued the global advanced wound care market at US$ 1.6 billion in 2005, with an 11% annual growth rate.
Current therapies for the treatment of chronic wounds are largely unsatisfactory, both from a clinical and economic point of view. Approximately 40% of chronic wounds fail to heal, even with current standard therapies. Furthermore, the overall annual treatment costs for wounds such as chronic ulcers are considerable, ranging from £7,000 to £20,000 per case, depending on the severity of the wound. This is of serious concern to governments that seek to limit health care expenditures.
About York Pharma plc
York Pharma is an AIM-listed strategic acquirer, developer and marketer of pharmaceutical products in the field of dermatology. Its portfolio now embraces skin diseases that make up approximately 87% of the global $10.6bn dermatology market. For further information, please go to www.yorkpharma.com.