Small Pharma takes £830,000
in equity funding
Equity round brings Small Pharma’s funds to £970k to develop its first product: a rapid-acting antidepressant
7 April 2017, London, UK: Small Pharma, a London-based pharmaceutical startup, has announced it has raised £830,000, supplemented by a £140,000 grant from Innovate UK to support the development of a rapid-acting drug for patients experiencing severe depression. The round was led by Chris Torrance, co-founder of Horizon Discovery and PhoreMost, with the Angel CoFund, pharma sector experts and investors Steve Harris, David Ebsworth and Peter Keen, and Secret Escapes co-founder, Tom Valentine, also participating. The investors were joined by 63 additional angels, following a successful campaign on SyndicateRoom, an angel investing platform with an enviable track-recording in assisting early stage life sciences companies.
Chris Torrance, Co-founder of Horizon Discovery and Phoremost, led the round and joins the board
Chris Torrance has also joined the board of Small Pharma, alongside Steve Harris who has sat on the board since November 2015, and is now becoming Chairman of the two year-old preclinical biotech. Mr Harris’ wealth of board experience includes Skyephama Plc, now merged with Vectura, and Cyprotex Plc, recently acquired by Evotec.
Small Pharma, founded in 2015 by Peter Rands, focuses on low-cost pharmaceutical product development and has a unique model for selecting and executing projects centred on detailed intellectual property (IP) strategy. The funding will support Small Pharma’s latest project as it develops an antidepressant based on a derivative of ketamine. With an estimated 615 million people suffering from depression and/or anxiety globally, many remain severely undertreated. Small Pharma has identified an innovative solution that could bridge this gap in the treatment of one of the biggest causes of disability worldwide.
Clinical trials have demonstrated a potent antidepressant effect using intravenous infusions of ketamine. However, delivery of the drug via this method requires the presence of a healthcare professional and normally requires patients to travel for treatment. This problem is compounded by ketamine’s adverse side effects, and the potential for abuse. Small Pharma are developing a modified drug product which aims to overcome these challenges. The funding will be used, specifically, to formulate the company’s novel drug product and prepare for proof-of-concept clinical trials.