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Irish pharma company closes $64m financing round

Sublimity Therapeutics (formerly Sigmoid Pharma) to develop new drug

Ivan Coulter, chief executive of Sigmoid Pharma.

Irish pharma company Sublimity Therapeutics (formerly Sigmoid Pharma), has closed a $64 million (€54.7 million) financing round to fund the development of a new drug.

The financing was co-led by OrbiMed and Longitude Capital with participation from HBM Healthcare Investments.

The investment is thought to be the largest ever investment in an Irish pharma company at clinical development stage.

Dublin-headquartered Sublimity, a specialty pharmaceutical company, is to use the financing to initiate a global Phase 2b dose-ranging study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a drug candidate known as STI-0529 in patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis

STI-0529 (formerly called CyCol) is an orally delivered soluble formulation of cyclosporine, a safe and effective treatment indicated for several inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease.

“The closing of this financing is an important milestone for the company,” said Anthony Giovinazzo, who has just been appointed executive chairman with Sigmoid.

“With the significant experience and financial resources of our premiere syndicate of investors, the strength of our management team and the proprietary technology, we are well positioned to advance the clinical development of STI-0529 and address the unmet needs of patients with ulcerative colitis,” he added.

Sublimity agreed a licensing deal with German group Dr Falk Pharma last year for its late stage ulcerative colitis drug that was reported in industry circles to be worth more than €100 million.

Globally, the market for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s is considered to be worth about $4 billion (€3.75 billion) and growing strongly.

The corporate team at commercial law firm Philip Lee acted as legal advisors to Sublimity.