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A better deal for diabetics

UK Medical tech firm Nemaura Pharma’s light-touch insulin delivery invention looks set to be no pain, all gain for diabetics who dread injections.

Latest tests showed patients did not feel or barely felt its super shallow micro-needle memspatch IMD. Once loaded with a preconfigured dose it is placed flat against a thigh or arm and its job is done in seconds.

If approvals go ahead as planned, Nemaura expects it to be ready next year to combat the problem of patients failing to medicate properly, which costs the NHS £1billion a year.

Finding better ways of delivering drugs and administering them more conveniently through the skin, using devices, diagnostic patches and mobile apps, have become the core focus of the firm’s work since founder and chief executive Dr Faz Chowdhury started up in 2005.

Increasingly, the medical world us coming round to his way of thinking. In the coming decade the global skin drug delivery market is expected to grow more than 12 percent and be worth £75.76billion with transdermal pain-free drugs a top trend. Chowdhury explains: “Needle phobia is a major barrier to health. More than 50 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes delay taking insulin and 90 percent feel fear. Our memspatch IMD requires little training, which makes doing it yourself much less stressful. Our goal is simple: reduce side effects and increase compliance.”

The innovation is one in a long pipeline for the developer, which has sealed a global licensing deal for an Alzheimer’s skin patch too. This aims to transform how a complex cocktail of drugs is taken by sufferers.

“Patients can easily forget in a difficult situation such as this or have trouble swallowing so this ensures they get what they need” says Chowdhury, who sees potential for other chronic conditions, such as migraine.

Nemaura has also tackled the entrenched problems associated with vaccines’ liquid formulations, which normally require being transported and stored at low temperatures creating a significant logistical and cost problem for medical teams in remote areas.

However, the firm’s expertise in nano drug delivery has turned the liquids into microscopic particles that do not require refrigeration and can be administered by non-skilled workers, creating another possible game changer for disease prevention in the developing world.

Medical innovation is one of the longest games and expensive, with device and drugs, multiple patents, trials and approvals sometimes taking a decade or more to develop.

So far Chowdhury, who alone as 50 inventions under his belt, has raised £25m from private investment and £2m from enterprise funding. Licence and royalty revenues, around £5m,, are set to rise to more than £10m by 2019.

“We are ambitious and have a £100m target for 2025 for the 22 drugs we have in development” says Chowdhury, who sees the firm’s closer involvement in the commercial roll-out of Memspatch IMD creating better margins.

Expansion on the jobs front is also planned now that the firm has a fivelab suite at the Advanced Technology Innovation Centre at Loughborough University’s Science and Enterprise Park, with staff numbers to increase to 200 by 2025.

“There’s no doubt about it, becoming part of a life sciences cluster with access to expertise on our doorstep has helped us grow to be a company with global impact,” he adds. “Nemuara is at a tipping point and here we have everything we need to advance.”

To find out more about Nemuara Pharma, please click here.

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