LONDON, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
£25 Million Fundraising for Fast-to-Market Medicines
infirst HEALTHCARE, the consumer healthcare company commercialising unique, fast-to-market consumer medicines, today announces it has successfully raised £25 million of new funds. The funding, from Invesco Asset Management managed funds, will be used for the launch of the company's medicines into the US$20 billion cough & cold and pain consumer healthcare markets where there has been little innovation for decades.
The company's fast-to-market portfolio utilizes infirst's intellectual property which centres on improving the profile of safe and well-established drugs. The first products to be launched will be in the cough & cold and pain indications. These represent the most prevalent symptomatic health conditions at the primary care level and the two largest segments of the global OTC market.
infirst HEALTHCARE is led by Manfred Scheske, who was President of GlaxoSmithKline's US$3 billion European Consumer Healthcare business until 2010, overseeing and launching some of the largest consumer healthcare brands in the industry. infirst's management team also includes Andrew Waters as Chief Financial Officer, a PwC qualified accountant who held senior finance roles with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare & Pharma for 16 years. Infirst's Board will be chaired by former Rothschild investment banker, Dr Lynn Drummond, who has a strong track record in the healthcare sector bringing over 20 years of management and advisory experience. Also on infirst's Board will be Gregory Stoloff (CEO and founder of SEEK Group, from which infirst HEALTHCARE has been spun out) and Kimbell Duncan (who has over 25 years experience as investment banker and investor).
Infirst has developed a strong portfolio of pipeline products. Its strategic focus - 'Known drugs - made better' - unlocks opportunities which permit rapid product development, swift pathways to regulatory approval and IP protection.
Infirst will launch its first product, a cocoa-flavoured cough liquid, in Europe. The company is also developing a non-narcotic/non-opioid cough treatment which is in a Phase III clinical study, targeted for a 2015 market launch. The North American rights to infirst's cough related IP have been out-licensed to NASDAQ listed US company Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. infirst is also developing an ibuprofen-based product for the treatment of inflammatory pain, to which it has the global rights.
Commenting on today's announcement, Manfred Scheske, CEO of infirst HEALTHCARE, said:
"Cough & cold and pain are the largest and most prevalent conditions in the consumer health sector and represent an enormous opportunity for infirst to bring innovation and efficacy to a market which has seen very few new products and only marginal innovation for decades. We are delighted that Invesco has become a major shareholder in our company and we look forward to delivering value for all of our shareholders in the coming years."
About infirst HEALTHCARE
infirst HEALTHCARE is a new consumer healthcare company focused on improving well established drugs with IP protected solutions for the OTC/Primary care markets which can be launched within 12-36 months. infirst is a spin-out from SEEK, a UK privately-owned drug discovery group which uses its intellectual property to create breakthrough medicines addressing major diseases, bringing radical improvements to human health.
infirst is led by CEO, Manfred Scheske, who was previously President of GSK's US$3 billion European Consumer Healthcare business (including brands such as alli, Aquafresh, Beechams, Corsodyl, Lucozade, Niquitin, Panadol. Piriton, Poligrip, Ribena, Sensodyne, Solpadeine, Zantac and Zovirax) from 2004 to 2010 and also spent six years as President of GSK's Consumer Healthcare business in North America.
Founded in 2004, SEEK (previously known as PepTcell) is privately-owned and funded, with headquarters in London, UK. Using a pioneering scientific and commercially-driven approach, SEEK aims to create breakthrough medicines which address major diseases in order to radically improve human health. SEEK's strategy is to take promising molecules through the challenging stages of discovery to late-stage human proof-of-principle and then to seek partners to take the molecules through the final stages of development and ultimately commercialisation.
Additional information about SEEK is available on the Company's website located at http://www.seekacure.com
About Invesco Perpetual
Invesco Perpetual is the trading name of Invesco Asset Management Limited and one of the largest independent investment managers in the UK. Their investment approach is rooted in the view that there are no short cuts to long-term investment success. Their fund managers have a wealth of expertise and are focused on achieving the objectives of the funds they manage. More information can be found on their web site at http://www.invescoperpetual.co.uk
More common than heartburn and severe headaches, cough imposes a great burden on the sufferer, their families, and society. Afflicting over 800 million worldwide, with an estimated 12% of the general population (7.5 million in the UK), experiencing the symptom on a regular basis. Most current cough remedies have old, grandfathered licenses and many are of narcotic/ opioid nature.
For more information please contact:
Manfred Scheske, CEO, infirst HEALTHCARE: Tel +44(0)20-7153-6570
Mary Clark / Amber Bielecka / Hollie Vile - Tel +44(0)20-7920-2330
Peel Hunt LLP (Financial Adviser to infirst HEALTHCARE)
James Steel / Vijay Barathan: Tel +44(0)20-7418-8900
SOURCE infirst HEALTHCARE