Tipperary’s Shorla Pharma raises $8.3m in Series A

3 Jun 2020

From left: Orlaith Ryan and Sharon Cunningham. Image: Shorla Pharma

Clonmel-based pharmaceutical start-up Shorla Pharma has raised $8.3m in Series A funding led by Seroba Life Sciences.

Today (3 June), Shorla Pharma announced that it has raised $8.3m in Series A funding. Recently featured in our Start-up of the Week series, Shorla Pharma is a Tipperary-based pharmaceutical business focusing on women’s and paediatric cancers.

The funding round was led by Seroba Life Sciences, a European venture capital firm headquartered in Dublin, with additional investment from family offices based in Ireland and Canada, as well as support from Enterprise Ireland.

The Clonmel start-up is developing oncology drugs in areas where existing treatments are limited, in shortage or inadequate for the target population, with the aim of making treatments more accessible.

Founders Sharon Cunningham and Orlaith Ryan have worked with a team of scientists, clinicians and an industry network to build a pipeline of drug products to treat a number of unmet patient needs.

Funding plans

The team plans to use the funding to support the advancement of its product pipeline, along with the expansion of technical and commercial operations in Ireland and the US.

Ryan said: “This significant investment will provide the necessary resource to further advance the product pipeline through health authority registration and commercialisation, which will ultimately create valuable and clinically impactful treatments that improve patient outcomes.”

Commenting on the support from Seroba Life Sciences, Cunningham added: “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 of Enterprise Ireland, said that Shorla Pharma is helping Ireland to maintain its reputation as “a centre for the global life sciences industry” and a leader in medtech and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Sinnamon added that it is “particularly heartening” to see the business expanding from a regional location. “It’s 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.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic