R&D company Fibrotech Therapeutics has the goal of treating fibrosis, which results from persistent tissue damage and leads to organ failure in more than 45% of diseases. Fibrotech develops orally active anti-fibrotic inhibitors designed to treat underlying pathological fibrosis in kidney and heart failure.
Their goal was to take compounds through early safety studies in animals and humans, before selling on to a pharmaceutical company. They designed compounds off the structure of tranilast, an anti-fibrotic compound, reducing its toxicity and increasing its potential.
Fibrotech was sold to global specialty biopharmaceutical company Shire in 2014 for an upfront US$75 million and further milestone payments of US$482.5 million.
In May 2015, Kelly launched OccuRx to develop drugs to treat ophthalmic disorders associated with retinal fibrosis and inflammation, and aims to take them to Phase 2 clinical trials. “We licensed the technology to administer anti-fibrotics to people with eye disease and fibrosis.”
Fibrotech Therapeutics tops the Top 25 Science Meets Business list of Australia’s most successful R&D companies.
“Key drivers to any biotechnology startup are passion and tenacity, and the desire to make a difference,” says Kelly.
Click here to read the full list of Top 25 Science meets Business R&D spin-off companies, or click here for Top 25 insights into attracting venture capital.