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14 August, 2014 - 06:37 By News Desk

Arecor targets £180bn a year market

Arecor-staff

Cambridge-based Arecor, which provides advanced formulation technology to the pharmaceutical industry, has won UK government backing to help develop more stable formulations of protein drugs.

The Science Park company, backed by Unilever Ventures, has won a grant from the Technology Strategy Board for the project.

It says that many of the next generation of protein drugs are often unstable and difficult to manufacture and maintain efficacy in storage. 

“This grant will enable a collaboration that will refine Arecor’s formulation tools to address challenges such as chemical degradation and heat stability in protein drugs for enabling new drugs, making self-administered drugs easier to use and facilitating distribution in emerging markets with limited cold chain,” the company said.

Arecor will collaborate with Manchester University's Centre of Excellence in Biopharmaceuticals utilising its robotics platform and Arecor’s patented formulation tools to expand the Cambridge company’s proprietary database of protein-excipient interactions. 

Excipients are chemicals that maintain an environment that prevents the drug from degrading. This work will provide Arecor a significant advantage in designing formulations of drugs to meet the most demanding specifications, the company says.

Advisers on the development of this new technology that will improve healthcare provision to the third world and reduce the environmental burden of cold-chain provision include PrismTC, statistical consultants, Unilever and major pharmaceutical companies.

The formulated products market in the UK is worth around £180 billion a year. The competition is part of TSB’s commitment to invest up to £5 million in feasibility projects and collaborative R & D to accelerate the development of new ways of designing, improving and manufacturing complex high-value formulated products in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, detergents, food, agrochemicals, paints, adhesives, lubricants and formulated process chemicals. 

A further £1m is available for collaborative research and development from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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