University spin-out gets backing from LSE-listed IP Group

Intellectual property developer IP Group has led a new investment into a University of Sheffield spin-out business developing hormone deficiency treatments.

Diurnal has raised £6 million of equity investment so that the biotech business can finance further trials of its Chronocort product.

Developed off the back of work conducted at the University of Sheffield, Diurnal produces products for the treatment of hormone deficiency. Chronocort, its lead product, has gone through phase 2 trials and will enter phase 3 testing in the beginning of 2015.

IP Group, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is contributing £4.1 million to the £6 million deal, of which the total amount is subject to completion of phase 3 trials.

Alan Aubrey, CEO of IP Group, comments, ‘This funding is intended to support Diurnal through its phase 3 trial as it seeks to bring Chronocort to market.

‘Diurnal has made impressive progress this year and is a great example of the latent value in IP Group’s Biotech division and of IP Group’s commitment to supporting later-stage portfolio companies.’

Diurnal last raised funds in June 2012 when Fusion IP, which IP Group holds a stake in, led a £1.2 million deal to finance earlier trials. Before that, Fusion IP had committed £440,000.

According to Diurnal, Chronocort works by releasing hormones in a ‘manner that mimics the natural circadian rhythm’. The biotech business says the product could help conditions ranging from congenital adrenal hyperplasia to adrenal insufficiency.

IP Group now has an investment portfolio containing in excess of 90 early-stage and mature businesses. It has interests in the healthcare, biotech, cleantech and technology sectors.

Earlier in the year, IP Group investment Xeros listed on the London Stock Exchange so that it could further finance and develop its energy efficient clothes washing technology.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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University Spinouts