Sigmoid Pharma to buy Irish arm of Japanese group Freund

Transaction will see company acquire a manufacturing plant in Tullamore

 Sigmoid Pharma founder Ivan Coulter said the Freund acquisition “will enable us to advance our lead programmes”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sigmoid Pharma founder Ivan Coulter said the Freund acquisition “will enable us to advance our lead programmes”. Photograph: Alan Betson

 
Sigmoid Pharma

The transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed, will see it acquire a manufacturing plant in Tullamore along with research and development facilities and other assets.

Freund Pharmatec was the European hub of the Japanese business and opened in 2010. Its 25 staff were engaged in developing new drug delivery technologies.

Dublin-based Sigmoid has developed a technology to deliver drugs effectively orally, where previously they had to be injected. It is now looking to apply that technology to therapies for gastrointestinal diseases.

Its CyCol therapy, targeting ulcerative colitis, is currently in late stage development. Company founder Ivan Coulter said the Freund acquisition “will enable us to advance our lead programmes through late stage clinical development and expedite our goal of becoming a global leader in the development of oral, effective and safe gastrointestinal disease therapeutics”. Dr Coulter, who set up the business in 2003 and remains its chief executive, has said previously that the global market for treating ulcerative colitis was $4 billion.

‘Long-standing relationship’

Sigmoid said the Tullamore plant would continue research and development programmes for customers under Sigmoid management. All staff are expected to transfer with the business, significantly boosting Sigmoid staff numbers.