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Pioneering drugs development company wins £40m funding

A pioneering drugs development company has been awarded a £40m funding package thanks to help from a North East law firm.

Newcastle-based Dickinson Dees oversaw the fundraising which will help e-Therapeutics continue their groundbreaking work in drugs development and discovery.

e-Therapeutics, an Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listed company since 2007, will now have around £25m to spend on further trials in a pioneering cancer drug.

Dickinson Dees advised the AIM fundraising which was completed on March 1 this year.

Sean Nicolson, partner and head of technology at Dickinson Dees said: “It is currently a challenging market in which to raise finance, especially for biotech companies.

“The success of this fundraising is a resounding endorsement of e-Therapeutics, enabling it to continue its drug discovery and development programmes.

“This is one of the biggest and most significant biotech deals in the last 12 months.

“Although market conditions are extremely challenging, the success of e-Therapeutics’ placing shows that for companies with the right proposition, AIM is still a credible source of finance for technology businesses.

“We are proud of our long association with e-Therapeutics.

“The company has grown remarkably quickly since its formation little more than 10 years ago.

“This is an excellent example of the long-lasting relationships which we like to foster with all our clients.

“e-Therapeutics has been a tremendous success story and this new tranche of funding will enable the company to go from strength to strength in such an important field of research,”

The drugs development company uses its patented network pharmacology technology to predict the effects of chemical interventions on proteins in cells.

New drugs are identified systematically which minimises the risks of a drug failing at an advanced stage of its development.

In February 2012 Prime Minister David Cameron opened e-Therapeutics’ new drug discovery centre in Oxford.

Trials of e-Therapeutics’ cancer drug ETS2101 are being conducted at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, St James’s Hospital in Leeds and at the University of California, San Diego.

The company plans to develop further drugs for the treatment of cancer and for degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

e-Therapeutics’ chief financial officer Dr Daniel Elger said: “This fundraising provides us with the resources needed for significant investment in new drug discovery and to take our lead cancer drug ETS2101 through efficacy-focused trials that could lead to a lucrative licensing deal.”

Professor Malcolm Young, chief executive of e-Therapeutics, said: “We would like to thank the loyal and talented team at Dickinson Dees, who have advised us with skill, expertise and common sense.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Dickinson Dees, which has stood us in good stead over the years.

“We very much appreciate the continuing support of existing investors and are also pleased to have attracted significant new investors to the company.

“With our financial position secure, we are well placed to build further shareholder value based on our innovative platform and product portfolio.”

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