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Drug discovery firm completes first round of investment

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A Scottish drug discovery company developing treatments for inflammatory conditions has completed its first round of investment.

University of Dundee spinout In4Derm is developing the next generation of topical and oral therapies for eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. The o2h human health EIS Fund has syndicated with biotech firms Meltwind and Wren to complete the first investment.

The company was founded by Dr Andrew Woodland and Dr Mark Bell, medicinal chemists at the university’s School of Life Sciences.

The seed investment from o2h ventures will be used to complete optimisation for an oral anti-inflammatory drug.

Tim Sparey, CEO of In4Derm, said: “We are delighted to work with the o2h ventures team. They bring considerable drug discovery and investor expertise to complement the In4Derm team’s experience, including Dr Andrew Woodland who has pioneered the discovery and development of In4Derm’s BET programmes.

“In4Derm’s oral, BDII selective BET compounds are leading the race to develop safe and efficacious BET inhibitors in major disease markets. In addition, In4Derm is developing pan-BET inhibitors for topical use in dermatology.”

The team behind In4Derm hope to turn their venture into a biotech company worth hundreds of millions of pounds. It has previously attracted more than £2m in pre-company grants.

Sunil Shah, CEO at o2h ventures, said: “We are very excited to invest into In4Derm. When fully developed this could greatly improve the wellbeing of patients with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or atopic dermatitis.

“Tim and Andrew are experienced biotechies. They have the scientific and leadership experience to navigate the science and scale the company and partner with big pharma.”

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