11/04/2016

£350,000 equity investment helps healthcare company develop innovative new treatments for chronic skin conditions

Curapel, a healthcare company developing innovative new treatments for eczema and psoriasis as well as skin pigmentation conditions, has set up its headquarters at the Life Sciences Hub Wales in Cardiff.

Finance Wales has invested £250,000 alongside Lancaster Capital and another investor and Curapel will now use this £350,000 equity investment to develop and commercialise its Histimex, Melidex and Olidex products.

Formulated from safe, natural and GRAS-designated ingredients, Curapel’s products are patent protected and all in late-stage product development, with clinical testing set to continue through 2016.

Targetting the multi-billion-pound dermatological healthcare and cosmetic markets, Curapel’s products have potentially fewer side effects than products currently available.

“Chronic long-term skin conditions can be debilitating and difficult to treat and there is currently a significant un-met clinical need for effective treatments with fewer side effects. The three products we’re developing at Curapel all use natural ingredients and are achieving impressive results in initial clinical studies.
  
“Finance Wales’ investment has come at a pivotal time for Curapel as it will enable us to build on the progress we’ve already made and commercialise our key products.  It will also enable us to establish licensing and partnership agreements with larger pharmaceutical and dermatological healthcare companies to bring them to market. Dr Peter Luebcke, Curapel’s Chief Executive explained.

The strength of Wales’ growing life sciences sector and availability of investment funding from Finance Wales influenced Curapel’s decision to locate its headquarters in Wales.

“Setting up our headquarters in Wales is an important step forward for Curapel.  With the funding and support we’ve received we can now forge ahead with our plans and being part of Wales growing life sciences sector will also create growth opportunities for us in years to come,” Dr Luebcke added.

Successful product commercialisation will see Curapel expand and potentially create a number of high-quality jobs in Wales.

Welcoming Curapel to Wales Economy Minister, Edwina Hart said: “We’re committed to building a life sciences sector that is home to world-class businesses and I hope that the finance, support and collaborative opportunities on offer in Wales will enable  Curapel to thrive and go on to achieve even greater success.”

Originally a spinout from the University of Manchester, Curapel (www.curapel.com) was founded by its Chief Technology Officer, Dr Neil Gibbs who has over 30 years’ experience as a translational skin researcher in London, Dundee and Manchester.

Ann Casey, Investment Executive in Finance Wales’ technology ventures investment team said: “Curapel is developing some innovative skin care products using safe, GRAS-designated ingredients that are all performing well in clinical studies and have significant commercial potential in future. 

“Peter, Neil and the team have a credible plan to commercialise these products and a licensing strategy that will enable them to generate early revenues by tying up with larger pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies.”

All Curapel’s products have excellent safety profiles. Histimex is an oral treatment that has shown early clinical potential in eczema and atopic dermatitis and also has commercial potential as a treatment for paediatric eczema.  Melidex is a cosmetic product designed to even skin tone and treat pigmentation conditions while Olidex is a topical treatment for psoriasis.

Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration designation where chemicals or substances are considered safe and exempt from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements.