Co-founder hails new bio­pharma startup

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - El­lie Don­nelly

LON­DON’S less-reg­u­lated Al­ter­na­tive In­vest­ment Mar­ket has had more than its fair share of cor­po­rate scan­dals, but rarely one as sur­pris­ing as what’s be­fallen Patisserie Hold­ings.

Known for its Patisserie Valerie cake shops, the Bri­tish com­pany part-owned by en­tre­pre­neur Luke John­son has BIO­PHARMA firm Sit­ryx has launched with $30m (€26m) Se­ries A fund­ing.

Co-founded by Luke O’Neill, chair­man of bio­chem­istry at Trin­ity Col­lege, the com­pany is fo­cused on reg­u­lat­ing cell me­tab­o­lism in or­der to de­velop dis­ease-mod­i­fy­ing ther­a­peu­tics.

The com­pany, founded with seed fund­ing from SV Health in­vestors, raised the fi­nance from a syn­di­cate of spe­cial­ist in­ter­na­tional health­care in­vestors co-led by SV Health In­vestors and Sofinnova Part­ners.

The syn­di­cate also in­cluded Long­wood Fund, which funds science-based com­pa­nies, and GSK.

Mr O’Neill said that he was de­lighted that his sab­bat­i­cal in GSK has re­sulted in the for­ma­tion of the new com­pany in what he de­scribed as “a tremen­dously ex­cit­ing area”.

Along with Mr O’Neill, the other co-founders are world-lead­ing re­searchers in the field of im­munol­ogy and me­tab­o­lism.

To­gether they have pub­lished more than 1,000 pa­pers in the field, mak­ing mul­ti­ple key break­throughs in the un­der­stand­ing of how crit­i­cal en­er­getic sta­tus is to the be­hav­iour of im­mune cells and in the broader field of im­munol­ogy.

Mean­while, Zynga – the firm that cre­ated Far­mVille and Words With Friends – has at­tracted takeover in­ter­est from other game de­vel­op­ers amid a jump in deal-mak­ing in the in­dus­try, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said.

The Great Bri­tish Bak­ing Scan­dal: Patisserie Valerie in shock fraud warn­ing

Ad­di­tional re­port­ing Bloomberg

sus­pended its CFO af­ter un­cov­er­ing “sig­nif­i­cant, and po­ten­tially fraud­u­lent, ac­count­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties”. It may have ex­ag­ger­ated its cash po­si­tion. It’s prob­a­ble its £446m mar­ket cap will go soggy when trad­ing re­sumes.Bloomberg

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