Cambridge, UK, 23rd January 2017 / Sciad NewswireCypralis, a life sciences company focused on the discovery of therapeutics for the modulation of peptidyl-prolyl isomerases (PPIases), has successfully completed its Innovate UK feasibility award and has been awarded new funding by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, under its BioMedical Catalyst competition. 

The feasibility study completed at the end of October 2016 was designed to generate new inhibitors of cyclophilin D that could be used for targeting degenerative diseases such as pancreatitis, ischaemias and CNS degeneration. During the feasibility study, Cypralis and collaborators at the University of Liverpool demonstrated that Cypralis’ cyclophilin inhibitors are highly protective against pancreatic cell death resulting from bile acids, one of the two main causes of acute pancreatitis. The early stage study starts in January 2017 and builds upon the successful outputs from the previous feasibility study.

The early stage study will be undertaken in collaboration with Professor Robert Sutton at the University of Liverpool and with sub-contractors including Selcia Ltd, Hypha Discovery Ltd and Aptuit. The study objective is to expand the body of pharmacological evidence supporting the role of cyclophilin inhibition in acute pancreatitis, as well as undertaking other pre-clinical studies. 

Simon Kerr, CEO of Cypralis, commented:

‘This further support from Innovate UK will enable Cypralis to select and progress one of our potent cyclophilin inhibitors through early pre-clinical development and towards Clinical Trial Application filing during 2018. Existing data suggests that our compounds have significant potential for the treatment of acute pancreatitis, a serious disease for which there are no existing disease-modifying therapies. We are also delighted to be collaborating so closely with the University of Liverpool, which is one of Europe’s leading centres in Pancreatology.’

Professor Robert Sutton, Director of the NIHR Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit, commented:

‘The development of an effective drug for acute pancreatitis would have a transformational impact on the management of this common and serious disease for which there are currently no specific therapies. Our work at the University of Liverpool has demonstrated that drugs which block cyclophilin D can prevent or reduce damage to the pancreas occurring during an episode of acute pancreatitis. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Cypralis to advance cyclophilin D inhibitors as a new therapy for acute pancreatitis.’ 


For further information, contact:

Simon Kerr, CEO
T: +44 (0)1277 367 020

Sciad Communications, Media Relations
Deborah Cockerill, Managing Partner
T: +44 (0)20 7470 8801

Notes for Editors

About Acute Pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is an extremely painful disease that is most often associated with gallstones, excessive alcohol intake and obesity and is currently treated in hospital with supportive therapy only. There are over 450,000 hospital admissions in total from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the USA every year, due to cases of acute pancreatitis. A significant number of patients with acute pancreatitis progress to life-threatening complications due to the pancreatic inflammation affecting other body organs. This inflammation is the result of cell death in the pancreas, which new experimental treatments have been shown to prevent in animal studies, human pancreatic cells and tissue. Cypralis has discovered new compounds that act on pancreatic cells to stop the disease from progressing. These compounds are being developed by Cypralis in collaboration with the University of Liverpool as the first disease-modifying treatments for acute pancreatitis.  

About Cypralis
Cypralis is a company focusing on discovering and developing novel medicines for acute and chronic degenerative diseases. It was spun out from Selcia Ltd (Ongar, Essex) in 2013 to exploit its extensive expertise and know-how in targeting peptidyl-prolyl isomerases (known as PPIases), a large family of druggable protein targets. Cypralis is dedicated to the development of highly innovative therapeutics through inhibition of PPIases and expects to build upon its existing intellectual property estate through its own R&D activities and also through risk-sharing collaborations with pharmaceutical companies. For further information visit

About the University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool is one of the UK’s leading research institutions with 81% of research rated world leading or internationally excellent. Liverpool is ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide and is a member of the Russell Group. For more information visit

About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information visit

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