Aurum Biosciences Ltd has raised approximately $4.5m (£3m) in a combination of equity and convertible loan funds from investors in UK and USA, including Tricap (Melrose, Scotland), the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. Management contributed significantly to the investment which adds to the already considerable investment in the company’s lead product and technology, Oxycyte, for acute ischaemic stroke (AIS). The funds will be dedicated to the company’s core strategy of developing novel therapies and diagnostics in stroke and other areas of unmet medical need. Simultaneously, Aurum signed an agreement for R&D and commercial activities with Tenax Therapeutics (North Carolina). The agreement gives Aurum full rights to develop Oxycyte in stroke. The product has already been successfully tested in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in early stage clinical trials. TBI patients exhibit certain characteristics similar to acute stroke patients, making the product an ideal candidate in this therapeutic area. Aurum’s technology was originally developed within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the University of Glasgow (Scotland, UK). The company was spun out via Scottish Health Innovations Ltd, the commercial arm of NHS Scotland.
Jim McGuire, Aurum’s CEO said: “We are delighted to receive these important funds from our investors who we know are as committed to the company and its projects as the management team are. We are particularly pleased that the investment has included the Wellcome Trust, the world’s second highest spending charitable foundation. It is also pleasing that well-established investment groups such as Tricap and sophisticated US investors have supported us in this round. We are excited that we have now extended the agreement with our partner Tenax, who we look forward to working with in close collaboration in the coming years. There has been a dearth of new therapies and diagnostics for acute ischaemic stroke in recent years. Our products provide hope for the many patients, carers and healthcare professionals who live with the consequences of this devastating condition, not to mention those for whom a stroke is fatal. We look forward to making our novel products available to patients at the earliest opportunity.”
Rob Dick, Tricap’s CEO said: “We are extremely pleased to have completed this investment, together with the Wellcome Trust, SIB and the other investors. Aurum is a truly novel company with a hugely exciting future. The company has shown great foresight, not only by securing these funds, but by simultaneously striking a potentially lucrative deal with its US partner Tenax Therepeutics, demonstrating the tremendous skills of the company’s very strong management team. We look forward to seeing Aurum succeed in bringing its products to market in the near future.”
Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank said: “Aurum is an innovative, forward thinking company with an exciting future. This investment is illustrative of the quality of opportunities in Scotland’s life science sector attracting international investment. We look forward to continuing to work with the company to help it realise its ambitious growth plans.”
Notes to Editors
AURUM BIOSCIENCES LTD is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics and diagnostics. The company’s lead technology, for Acute Ischaemic Stroke (AIS) and potentially other life-threatening and serious conditions, was conceived by inventor and Aurum Chief Scientific Officer Dr Celestine Santosh. Follow-on indications include heart disease, cancer, epilepsy, and dementia. Aurum, headed by a team of experts in the field, has already taken the stroke management product (named “GOLD”) through preclinical development and is currently planning clinical studies of efficacy and safety.
Tenax Therapeutics, Inc., is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing and commercializing products for the critical care market. Tenax is based in Morrisville, North Carolina and is listed on the NASDAQ as TENX.
Oxycyte, an oxygen carrier product, is a PFC-based oil in water emulsion, which is provided to the patient intravenously. The physical-chemical properties of PFCs enable the product to concentrate oxygen from the lungs and transport it through the body releasing it along the way. Over a period of days Oxycyte is gradually exhaled through the lungs during the normal process of respiration.
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.
Our investment portfolio gives us the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, our free venue for the incurably curious that explores medicine, life and art. www.wellcome.ac.uk
Scottish Investment Bank: The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It manages a suite of co- investment funds including the Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, which are partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Renewable Energy Investment Fund and the Scottish Recycling Fund. SIB is the cornerstone investor in the privately-managed Scottish Loan Fund, managed by Maven Capital Partners and an investor in Epidarex Capital’s life sciences fund. Our investment funds support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital. We also provide a team of Financial Readiness specialists to help companies prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance.
Stroke Market Statistics: The initial market development for Aurum’s GOLD product is in AIS. The AIS market alone was valued at $19.2 billion in 2013 and is forecast to reach $28.3 billion by 2019 [BCC Research]. There were almost 17 million first time strokes worldwide in 2010 with stroke being the second most common cause of death in the world [State of Nation -Stroke Statistics 2015]. In the US alone in 2012, the total direct cost of stroke was estimated at $71.55 billion and is forecast to rise to $183.13 billion by 2030.
Company contact: Jim McGuire, CEO. Tel: 07872 340734 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org