Dr Ken Cunningham MedherantMedherant Ltd, a University of Warwick spin-out developing a novel transdermal drug delivery patch technology, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Ken Cunningham as Chair. Dr Cunningham joins Medherant as the company prepares to move into clinical studies with its leading TEPI Patch technology.

Ken brings more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to Medherant. He is currently Chairman of Abzena as well as Non-Executive Director of Verona Pharma. Between 2006 and 2010, Dr Cunningham was at SkyePharma, initially as Chief Operating Officer and subsequently as Chief Executive Officer, where he oversaw the late stage development of flutiform for asthma.

Ken holds a medical degree from St Mary’s, Imperial College London.

Medherant’s first-in-class drug delivery platform, TEPI Patch, is designed to address many of the failings of previous transdermal drug delivery patches, enabling expansion of the library of drugs available for patch delivery, including those that had previously failed clinical trials owing to unsuitability for oral administration.

The technology is initially being developed for use with the pain relief drugs ibuprofen and methyl salicylate, delivering a controlled dose during a period as long as 24 hours. Medherant has raised £2 million in funding to date to advance preclinical studies of the TEPI Patch, in preparation for moving into clinical studies and a series A funding round later in 2017.

Ken Cunningham commented: “I am delighted to join Medherant as Chairman as the team progresses the Company’s TEPI Patch technology into clinical development. Medherant’s novel transdermal drug delivery patch technology offers significant benefits to patients and the potential to generate value for Medherant’s shareholders. I look forward to contributing to the success of the company.”

Mercia Technologies invested £650,000 as part of a syndicated £1.5 million fundraising round in September 2016. It also contributed early-stage funding to Medherant via its third party funds after the business was spun out from the University of Warwick.

Peter Dines, Head of Life Sciences & Biosciences at Mercia, said: “Mercia previously worked with Ken when he chaired Polytherics, which later acquired the Mercia portfolio company Warwick Effect Polymers. He then took the business onto AIM as Abzena. We are delighted that he has now taken up this post. Ken has over two decades of experience in this sector and his appointment reflects the enormous potential offered by the TEPI Patch.”