Dublin and Clonmel, Ireland. June 4, 2020. Shorla Pharma Limited (‘Shorla’), an Irish specialty pharmaceutical company has today announced the completion of a Series A investment of $8.3m. The financing was led by Seroba Life Sciences (‘Seroba’), a European Venture Capital firm headquartered in Dublin, Ireland with additional investment from Irish and Canadian based family offices and participation from Enterprise Ireland.
Shorla has developed innovative oncology drugs with a focus on rare, orphan and pediatric cancers, delivering more effective products in indications where existing treatments are sub-optimal for the target patients.
The company was founded by Sharon Cunningham and Orlaith Ryan (‘Shorla’ is a combination of both first names), both formerly with EirGen Pharma (‘EirGen’) in Waterford, Ireland. Shorla is based in Questum, a Clonmel, Ireland based acceleration center.
Together with a strong team of scientists, clinicians and an extensive industry network, the company has an advanced pipeline of innovative drug products to treat a number of unmet patient needs. The funding will support the advancement of the product pipeline, along with expansion of technical and commercial operations in both Ireland and the US.
Alan O’Connell, a Partner at Seroba who has joined the Shorla board, said “We’re delighted to support an Irish company with such a promising pipeline of products designed to improve treatment options for cancer patients. Shorla is led by experienced founders with a track record of success in the sector and we look forward to working with them to grow the company and bring their products to market.”
Speaking about the investment, Orlaith Ryan, of Shorla said “This significant investment will provide the necessary resource to further advance the product pipeline through health authority registration and commercialization which will ultimately create valuable and clinically impactful treatments that improve patient outcomes.”
Commenting about the support from Seroba, Sharon Cunningham, added “Seroba is a leading venture capital firm in the global life sciences industry and they, along with other participants in the investment syndicate bring invaluable experience to Shorla and have a proven track record in the pharmaceutical sector. We’re confident that we have the right partners to support us in executing our vision.”
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said “We are delighted to support Shorla and to be part of this investment round. Ireland is widely recognised as a center for the global life sciences industry as well as a leader in medtech and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Helping to maintain that reputation Shorla, led by two female founders, is a highly innovative company developing new solutions to critical issues in the oncology area. It is also particularly heartening to see this company starting in a regional location.
Earlier this year, the Enterprise Ireland ‘Action Plan for Women in Business’ cited that less than 10pc of VC funding is going to companies with women founders. This investment is consistent with that action plan in terms of developing a larger number of companies of scale led by female founders. It is fantastic to have a role model like Shorla to demonstrate what’s possible. I wish the team luck with the project and congratulate the company on its success to date.”
About Shorla Pharma Ltd
Shorla Pharma Ltd is a privately held, Irish based specialty pharmaceutical company with an advanced pipeline of innovative oncology drugs for women’s and pediatric cancers. The company concentrates on indications where existing treatments are limited, in shortage or inadequate for the target population. Shorla’s growing portfolio brings accessible, affordable and life-saving treatments to patients, delivering a major contribution to patient care. Shorla was established by Sharon Cunningham and Orlaith Ryan in 2018 and won the overall award at Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition in 2019. Sharon and Orlaith were included on a list of 50 people to watch out for in 2020 by the Irish Times. Visit www.shorlapharma.com
For further information, call Vicky La Touche-Price in Seroba on +353 1 6334028