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20 Jul 2017

LifeArc negotiates exclusive licence deal with Nemysis for oral iron supplement technology

IHAT, a novel synthetic material, is a commercially viable alternative to ferrous salts for iron supplementation.

LifeArc, the medical research charity formerly known as MRC Technology, has negotiated a licence for an oral iron supplement technology with Nemysis. Iron oxo-hydroxide adipate tartrate (IHAT) was developed at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Human Nutrition Research Unit, whose research LifeArc supports to increase the health benefits arising from MRC research. Under the licence Nemysis will develop, manufacture and market the oral iron supplement technology.

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Children, pre-menopausal women and people with a poor diet such as the elderly, those in the developing world or leading busy lifestyles are most susceptible to iron deficiency and associated iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). Iron deficiency and IDA is estimated to affect 1 billion people worldwide and is one of the top-10 risk factors contributing to the global burden of disease (WHO’s top 10 list for disease cure and prevention).

Current supplements for iron deficiency include ferric compounds which are very poorly absorbed (~2%) and ferrous compounds which are associated with well-recognised toxicity issues that lead to gastrointestinal side effects, poor compliance and additional healthcare costs. IHAT is a novel synthetic material based on the chemistry of natural, digested dietary iron. Due to its low manufacturing cost, near equivalent bioavailability to ferrous salts and increased safety profile, IHAT is a commercially viable alternative to ferrous salts for iron supplementation.

Andrew Farquharson, Executive Director Technology Transfer at LifeArc, said: “There is a major unmet need for new oral iron supplements that offer reduced gastrointestinal side effects and we are delighted to have helped translate this innovative research from the MRC. IHAT is an exciting oral supplement that we hope will soon be available to patients worldwide.”

Mr Danilo Casadei Massari, Chief Executive Officer, Nemysis, said: “This is an exciting time for us all. Nemysis is a newly founded specialty pharmaceutical company that focuses on the research and development of proprietary products with unique safety profiles to address Iron Deficiency/Anaemia and Celiac Disease. We welcome the opportunity to develop up to commercial stage products based on this innovative technology.”

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