University of Greenwich wins €200,000 in funding from Merck Consumer Healthcare

Funding will be used to tailor two pain relief medicines for new markets

Merck Consumer Healthcare health has invested €200,000 in the research skills of the Medway Centre for Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Greenwich in the UK, to tailor two of its pain relief medicines for new markets.

The Medway team is working with the German pharmaceutical giant to prepare non-steroid painkilling injections with added B vitamins for use in Latin America where this combination is common in clinical practice.

The scientists are formulating the injections so that all the ingredients remain stable and clinically effective in different climates during transportation and so that patients benefit from a full-strength injection.

They are also confirming that the ingredients and the medicines meet all international pharmaceutical technical standards (ICH) with the potential to gain access to new markets.

Their research is being continued at one of Merck Consumer Health Care's manufacturing sites in Mexico where the Greenwich injections will be produced and tested.

In the second research area, a detailed and accurate analysis by the Medway team of a herbal pain relieving skin cream, popular in Europe, will make it available in more countries.

‘We can extract and identify the active herbal ingredients by advanced analytical techniques within the school. Control of the active ingredients in plant materials used in medicines is essential to meet international pharmaceutical standards,’ says Professor John Mitchell.

‘However, it can be a complex process as the extracts of plants are compounds and can be variable in their com-positions. Formulating for maximum stability of herbal extracts is challenging and generally poorly understood.

‘We are delighted Merck Consumer Health Care is now one of the growing number of international companies taking advantage of the expertise and research facilities at the Medway Centre for Pharmaceutical Sciences.

‘We will be looking to work with more pharmaceuticals companies at home and abroad following the expansion of our team to include Professor Steve Wicks as Co-Director of the centre.’