Amryt progresses drug development for rare disease
Irish startup drug firm Amryt Pharmaceuticals has secured patent protection for its lead product, Episalvan, and expects phase three trials in the US for use of the drug to treat a rare skin disease to begin next year.
Amryt was established following a reverse takeover of former oil exploration firm Fastnet Oil & Gas, which was listed on the stock market.
Amryt also undertook a share placing, which raised £10m (€11.7m).
The drug company is chaired by Shire founder Harry Stratford. Its chief executive is Joe Wiley, who was previously medical director of Astellas Pharma.
Amryt is hoping to target development of so-called orphan drugs to treat rare diseases.
It intends to seek approval in the United States and Europe to use Episalvan as a treatment for the hereditary skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
Releasing first-half results, the company said it had €10.7m in cash at the end of August and is currently spending about €500,000 a month.
Mr Stratford said the first six months had been "transformational" for the company. "Given the unique characteristics of our EB product and the lack of any available treatment options currently, we believe this market offers a significant commercial opportunity for us," he said.