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MANUFACTURING: University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

Nemaura Pharma, a company specialising in the development of advanced drug delivery systems, has been utilising manufacturing expertise at the University of Nottingham to develop the design of sub-systems for their innovative drug delivery patch

The company in Loughborough specialises in novel drug formulations and devices for controlled drug delivery and diagnostics, and innovative methods for improving drug absorption rates. They were looking for a fast turnaround and a commercial approach to the development of their latest drug delivery device and heard about the unique technology transfer and demonstration facilities based at the University at a local networking event.

The Nottingham Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (NIMRC) delivers an exciting, world-leading mix of both applied and blue-sky research, working extensively with industry to create high-value products and technologies that give UK and international manufacturing businesses competitive advantage in the everchanging global marketplace. It also offers access to extensive technical facilities.

Part of NIMRC, The Precision Manufacturing Centre, offers commercial facilities to focus on the transfer of new research and innovation to industry. It provides access to leading-edge expertise, supported by a core team of engineers, and technology transfer specialists who facilitate business engagement and knowledge transfer in precision manufacturing to the aerospace, automotive and healthcare sectors. Professor Svetan Ratchev and his team had the skills and facilities to respond to Nemaura Pharma?s requirements.

Nemaura Pharma produced a first prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of its innovative drug delivery (patch) design and how this could be optimised for cost-effective manufacture and full-scale production. A further application of the patch was intended for non-invasive diagnostics and integrated responsive drug delivery. To exploit this new application, Nemaura formed a consortium with the University and commercial partners Datalink Electronics, and developed a strategy for undertaking basic research together with technology development that would lead to a clinical prototype of the patch for diagnostics applications.

The consortium then successfully secured a £1.3m Technology Strategy Board grant to develop core enabling technologies for Nemaura?s new transdermal patch system capable of non-invasive patient diagnosis and responsive drug delivery. The TSB-funded project, due to start in September 2008, will deliver new innovative solutions for design, process integration and testing and validation of the transdermal non-invasive diagnostics device which will allow future volume manufacture in a high-labour cost area such as the UK. The activities will be supported by the establishment of a steering group, consisting of physicians, pharmacists, nurses and members of staff from healthcare centres, as well as representatives from other companies involved in diagnostics and other medical devices. The steering group will be engaged at key stages to provide input and feedback to ensure that the project reacts to the needs and drivers of the potential beneficiaries.

The research and development activities planned for the next two years will create significant new business opportunities for a new product based on an innovative knowledge-intensive technology ? in particular, small, robust, portable, lowcost systems for point of care use. These will significantly enhance the position of the UK in this field and create critical competitive advantage for UK manufacturers to exploit the results of the project.

For further information contact:
Kevin Phuah
Technology Transfer Specialist
Tel: 0115 8468839