Shorla Pharma, based at LIT's Questum Enterprise Acceleration Centre in Clonmel Co Tipperary, is an award winning Startup who earlier this year raised $8.3m in a series A investment round led by Seroba. Founded by Sharon Cunningham and Orlaith Ryan in 2018 who met when they worked together at EirGen Pharma, which was acquired by US drugs firm Opko for $135 million in 2015, Shorla is an innovative company developing oncology drugs with a focus on rare, orphan and paediatric cancers. This includes helping to make existing treatments easier to use. One example of this is a children’s cancer drug the company has redeveloped from a difficult-to-swallow capsule into an oral solution.
Their mission is to reimagine lifesaving medicines for those affected by Cancer, working with world renowned key opinion leaders and first in class research scientists their team merge experience and innovation to solve real world clinical problems. Shorla is still in its prelaunch research and development phase, but its first two oncology products have been presented to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval with a third to follow shortly.
They recently announced two new board members would join them including John Moloney, chairman of FTSE 100-listed DCC and former managing director of Glanbia and Tracy Woody, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Protagonist Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on discovering and developing peptide-based therapies.
The company won the overall award at the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition last year amongst many awards and Shorla was also named Local Enterprise of the Year 2020 at the Irish Times Business Awards two months ago.
Sharon Cunningham, CEO, leads the fundraising and commercialization activities. She has vast experience in equity and debt financing and M&A in the pharmaceutical industry. Sharon is a PwC qualified Chartered Accountant, holds a BSc in Finance from University College Cork and an MBA from University College Dublin Smurfit School. Sharon also sits on the Board of Irish Rule of Law International.
Orlaith Ryan, CTO, leads the product development programs and supply chain activities. She has vast experience in the life sciences industry, having worked previously in product development, regulation and compliance. Orlaith is a Chartered Scientist, a Biochemist and holds an MSc in Regulatory Affairs from the University of Wales.