Dublin-based drug development firm Trino Therapeutics has received €9m in additional funding — the second major investment in a Trinity College campus company in as many months.
The money will go towards helping Trino further develop its oral drug therapy for the treatment of mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis; an inflammatory bowel disease which affects the large intestine.
Part of the money has already been used on pre-clinical testing on the code-named PH46A treatment, with the main €7m bulk of it set to go towards bringing the drug through the formal human testing process and to complete initial Phase II trials.
Trino already counts the likes of Enterprise Ireland and Growcrop as backers; but the new investment adds Dublin-headquartered life science-focused venture capitalist, Fountain Healthcare Partners and global charitable foundation, The Wellcome Trust as funding partners.
According to one of Trino’s co-founders, Prof Neil Frankish: “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.”
The Wellcome Trust heralded PH46A as a potential new therapy, noting that current treatments for inflammatory bowel diseases often have significant side effects.
Fountain Healthcare Partners, meanwhile, paid tribute to the quality of research currently being undertaken in Ireland.
“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 Fountain’s Dr Ena Prosser.
Last month, another Trinity College spin-out firm in the area of drug development — Opsona Therapeutics — raised €33m from new and existing investors, to help fund test work on its product aimed at helping, among others, kidney transplant patients.
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