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Apposite Capital-backed Kelso Pharma acquires Stirling Anglian Pharmaceuticals

Apposite Capital, the healthcare specialist private equity investor, and Kelso Pharma today announce the acquisition of Stirling Anglian Pharmaceuticals Limited. 

Kelso Pharma is headed by Dr Tom Stratford, previously CEO of Kyowa Kirin International (“KKI”), the European and US business arm of Kyowa Kirin, which purchased Scottish Borders based ProStrakan Group PLC in 2011. He is joined in this new venture by former KKI CFO, Allan Watson, and former KKI General Counsel, Andrew McLean. 

The Kelso Pharma team has extensive experience of building and running a European specialty pharma business through M&A and licensing transactions. The acquisition of Glasgow-based Stirling Anglian provides an initial UK platform and a springboard for future sales growth through further acquisitions, product in-licensing and geographic expansion within Europe. Stirling Anglian’s brand portfolio includes three medicines that are already in the UK healthcare market (see Notes to editors for details).

Announcing the first acquisition for Kelso Pharma, Tom Stratford said:

Our aim is to enhance value for the healthcare system by providing branded medicines that improve the lives of patients in a cost-effective and ethical way. 

“Stirling Anglian’s business is a perfect fit with that vision and with Apposite Capital’s financial support it provides us with a UK platform from which to grow, not just in the UK but elsewhere, as we build a pan-European specialty pharma business. Stirling Anglian’s product portfolio matches Kelso Pharma’s planned focus on innovative, branded and cost-effective medicines that provide proven benefit to patients while being affordable to the healthcare system.”

Kelso Pharma is backed by Apposite Capital LLP (“Apposite”), the private equity firm that invests in high potential commercial stage healthcare companies across Europe, with 12 healthcare businesses in its current investment portfolio.

Apposite Managing Partner, Sam Gray, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with such a talented and proven team of executives given their phenomenal track record in executing acquisitive and organic growth in the specialty pharmaceuticals sector. Given its growth profile, the acquisition of Stirling Anglian represents an attractive first entry point into the UK market and we share the ambition of the team to create a significant pan-European business with a focus on innovative affordable medicines.”

Tom Stratford added:

“Stirling Anglian is a strong and growing UK business into which Kelso Pharma, with the backing of Apposite Capital, will deploy further capital, resources and additional products. We already have a new product launch planned for Q1 2022.”

“We will encourage and focus on innovation in the strong belief that the medicines that our approach will create, or bring to market, will be of benefit to patients while creating value for the healthcare system.”

Further enquiries:

Callum Spreng

Tel: 07803 970103

Email: callum@sprengthomson.com

Spreng Thomson 

Notes to editors:

Kelso Pharma

Kelso Pharma is committed to bringing innovative, value added, specialty medicines to the European healthcare markets that provide meaningful benefits to patients and create added value for healthcare stakeholders.

Dr Tom Stratford, CEO

With a PhD in developmental biology, Tom Stratford is an experienced CEO, with over 25 years in the pharma sector, building commercial pharma organisations in the EMEA and USA. Highly experienced in developing businesses through organic growth and M&A, Tom was the founding member of the ProStrakan business development team, leading the team for 15 years.  As CEO of Kyowa Kirin International (KKI) for Kyowa Kirin, he led the EMEA business from turnover of £100m with significant growth in revenues and expansion across Europe. 

Allan Watson, CFO

Chief Financial Officer with over 25 years of finance experience including ILC Therapeutics, KKI and Optos plc. Extensive international and M&A experience. A pharmacy graduate, he has held a number of finance positions with small and large companies both within and outside of the healthcare sector since qualifying as an accountant.

Andrew McLean, General Counsel

General Counsel with over 25 years’ pharma sector experience at Camurus AB, KKI, Recordati and Shire. Extensive M&A, corporate finance, business development, licensing, IP management and litigation, compliance, private and listed company experience.

Stirling Anglian Pharmaceuticals

Based in the UK, Stirling Anglian is committed to medicines optimisation. It has sourced and developed a portfolio of medicines to help the NHS curb waste – across a range of conditions that currently place unnecessary and avoidable pressure on NHS resources. At a time when there is such pressure on the NHS to reduce costs the company believes it provides a real and practical solution.

It works closely with stakeholders across the NHS to identify real-world problems and develop value-based solutions that support the delivery of efficient and cost-effective healthcare.


Its three medicines are:

  • CosmoCol® (macrogol 3350 plus electrolytes) powder for oral solution – an osmotic laxative indicated for the treatment of chronic constipation and for the resolution of faecal impaction. CosmoCol Paediatric is a POM medicine while all other currently approved formulations of CosmoCol are P medicines. The base compound of Macrogol 3350 is polyethylene glycol. This is an inert substance which, when taken orally acts as an osmotic laxative. The added electrolytes counteract the electrolyte shifts that result from this effect in the gut. These compounds can be difficult to take as the taste is unpleasant and the re-constituted compound has a significant volume.
  • Stirlescent® (naproxen) 250mg effervescent tablets – containing naproxen, which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Stirlescent is a POM medicine 
  • theiCal-D3® 1000mg/880 IU chewable tablets – indicated for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D and calcium deficiency in the elderly. They are also indicated as a vitamin D and calcium supplement as an adjunct to specific osteoporosis treatment of patients who are at risk of vitamin D and calcium deficiency. theiCal-D3® 1000 mg / 880 IU chewable tablet is the first product designed to provide the lowest effective dose of calcium 1000mg per day combined with a dose of vitamin D in excess of the 800 IU recommended in combination to maintain bone health.

Apposite Capital LLP

Apposite Capital solely focuses on healthcare. It works closely with management teams, providing operational support and strategic guidance as much as capital to together build market-leading companies.

Apposite invests in high potential commercial stage companies across Europe, tailoring its investment to each company’s needs and considering all types of financing structures (minority, growth, buy-out, buy-in, etc).

Apposite has an in-depth sector knowledge, covering key aspects of the healthcare industry

internationally, an exceptional network and an entrepreneurial mindset which it applies to drive the growth of its portfolio companies both organically and inorganically.

Apposite Capital was established in 2006 and is headquartered in London, UK.

Advisers to Apposite Capital and Kelso Pharma: Gowling WLG (legal), Chiene+Tait (financial & tax), Shepherd and Wedderburn (Management: legal). Advisers to Stirling Anglian: EY (legal, tax and M&A).

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