Infirst Raises $38 Million From Invesco for Cold Medicine Market

Infirst Healthcare said it raised 25 million pounds ($38 million) from Invesco Asset Management to help break into the $20 billion market for cold and pain medicines.

Infirst plans to introduce its initial product, a cocoa- flavored cough liquid, in Europe, and is conducting late-stage trials on a non-narcotic, non-opioid cough treatment that may reach the market by 2015, the London-based company said in a statement today. Closely held Infirst also said it’s developing an ibuprofen-based product for inflammatory pain.

“Cough and cold and pain are the largest and most prevalent conditions in the consumer-health sector and represent an enormous opportunity for Infirst,” Chief Executive Officer Manfred Scheske said in the statement. “We are delighted that Invesco has become a major shareholder in our company.”

Scheske was president of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s European consumer health-care business until 2010. Infirst Chief Financial Officer Andrew Waters also worked at London-based Glaxo.

Infirst is a spin-out from Seek, a London-based privately- owned drug discovery group. The company’s board includes former investment bankers Lynn Drummond, who was a managing director at Rothschild, and Kimbell Duncan.

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