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Decade long relationship enhanced by knowledge transfer partnerships

Published: 11 December 2017
Decade long relationship enhanced by knowledge transfer partnerships

The Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Sciences (CPES) has secured its second Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Natures Laboratory to support their latest innovation goals using the healing properties of propolis.

Natures Laboratory, a natural medicine manufacturer, have been working with the Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science (CPES) since 2007. Propolis is a mixture of resin and wax made by honey bees to seal and sterilise their hive. It has a range of reported biological properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and analgesic due to it containing of a large variety of flavonoids, terpenes and phenolic compounds.

In January 2011 the two parties entered into their first KTP with the aim of developing innovative and consumer acceptable propolis products. This initiative and other grant funded projects led to the introduction of new products branded the “BeeVital” range which includes a deodorised water soluble propolis drink manufactured specifically for in Korean market and an alcohol free, bioadhesive oral gel for the treatment of mouth ulcers.

The company have recently uncovered an important relationship between the chemical composition of propolis and local disease structures. The bee colony is combining plant material (mostly resins) and producing a material capable of defending the hive against unique local disease. The company hopes to purify the crude propolis and concentrate the key active compounds leading to novel medicinal products.

The latest 2 year KTP, led by Professor Anant Paradkar, Director of CPES, will bring together a multidisciplinary team with expertise in natural products to help Natures Lab refine, characterise and quantify these active compounds. The project will result in new refining processes and the establishment of a Propolis Activity Factor (PAF) based on a Composition-Activity Relationship (CAR) model which will allow the company to better understand the grade of propolis at the raw material stage as well as helping them develop and optimise potential new medicines.

The CPES is an interdisciplinary research and industrial collaboration centre, which has expertise across the pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry and polymer engineering disciplines. A major achievement of the centre has been to develop strong relationships with regional industry partners resulting in a range of collaborative research projects aimed at helping local SMEs to develop their in-house innovation capabilities and driving forward the introduction of new products and processes.

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