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Norwich-based science firm set to expand after success of Malaria drug trial

10:01 06 December 2012

Clive Booles

Clive Booles

Archant

A pioneering Norwich-based science business is expanding following the successful trial of its under-the-tongue spray which could dramatically cut the number of deaths caused by malaria.

LondonPharma, which was recently voted ‘Best Emerging Biotech of the Year’, is expanding its business as its new product completes its phase three trials.

As a result of this progression, the company is moving from the Norwich BioIncubator to the Norwich Research Park Innovation Centre, the centres that house the commercial businesses on the NRP, including those with an interest in the pharmaceutical industry and drug development.

Research and development director Clive Booles said LondonPharma’s new spray treatment offered a breakthrough for children suffering from malaria.

“A child’s best chance of survival currently is to receive specialist drugs delivered through an intravenous drip, but this treatment can only be provided by a trained medical professional in a hospital setting,” he added.

“The spray, on the other hand, can be used in any setting and by anyone with minimal training.

“Children with severe malaria are often dehydrated and may even be comatose.

“Our spray has been shown to bring children out of a coma and within 24 hours children will have recovered enough to eat and take on fluids. This means that once the spray is approved for use outside hospitals, children who receive it will be in a far better state of health to travel for further treatment.

“As it stands, there is no effective alternative for treating children with severe malaria closer to home, meaning thousands of children die during the journey to hospital.

“Our treatment offers these children a better chance of survival.”

The spray developed by LondonPharma contains a drug that is currently only used in tablet form to treat ‘uncomplicated’ (non-severe) malaria.

Trials have found that delivering this drug as a sublingual (under- the-tongue) spray has astounding effects on children with severe malaria.

“Moving to the Innovation Centre will allow us to take on new members of staff and investigate other drugs which may be improved using a sublingual delivery system,” Mr Booles added.

shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk

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