Ireland South East-based cancer treatment firm co-founder named Best Young Entrepreneur

The founder of an Ireland South East-based healthcare company that develops pharmaceutical cancer treatments for children and women has been named Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2019.

Sharon Cunningham, co-founder of Shorla Pharma, was awarded the top prize of an investment fund worth €40,000 for best start-up business at Sunday’s awards ceremony at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin. The company is based in the Questum Acceleration Centre in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.


Ms Cunningham, a qualified chartered accountant from Waterford, founded Shorla Pharma in 2018 with Orlaith Ryan to help improve existing treatments for children’s and women’s cancers by making them more user-friendly. This included the redevelopment of a children’s cancer drug from a difficult-to-swallow capsule into an oral solution.


The programme, which is run by the network of local enterprise offices in local authorities nationwide and supported by the Department of Business, and Enterprise Ireland, attracted more than 1,600 applicants in 2019, with an investment fund of €2 million. Some 186 entrants secured investments of €3,000-€15,000 each.


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