A Brighton biotech firm is asking stock market investors for at least £10 million to support its battle to beat hospital superbugs.
Destiny Pharma hopes to raise the money by selling its shares on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) which is sometimes referred to as the junior stock market.
The business, which is based at the Sussex Innovation Centre, at the Sussex University campus at Falmer, expects to make more than £1 billion with its breakthrough drug XF-73 (exeporfinium chloride).
But first it needs the money to cover its costs as XF-73 goes through a final phase of tests – on patients – “to assess efficacy, effectiveness and safety”.
The company said that its innovative XF drugs are “being developed to prevent and treat existing and emerging superbug infections within and outside of hospitals”.
It added: “The company’s intellectual property is already well established with 94 granted and 3 pending patents.”
A growing number of infections have proved resistant to drug treatment and are costing patients their lives.
It believes that its XF range offers possibly the best hope of a new family of drugs to tackle the burgeoning problem.
Destiny Pharma was founded 20 years ago by Bill Love, 54, who serves as the company’s chief scientific offer. Dr Love is also “the co-inventor of the XF drug platform”.
The senior team also includes project director William Rhys-Williams, 49. Dr Rhys-Williams spent three years carrying out postdoctoral research on microbes at Brighton University.
The board is chaired by experienced big business boss Sir Nigel Rudd, 70, who once ran the high street chemist Boots and Heathrow airport. He joined Destiny Pharma six years ago.
The company is expected to start trading its shares on the Alternative Investment Market next month although no date has yet been set.
Nor has the company announced a share price or said how much it hopes to raise although The Times and the Telegraph both quoted a figure of more than £10 million.