Improved treatment of inflammatory bowel disease with the help of mesoporous Upsalite

Unique carrier provides a more even medication dose

The discovery of Upsalite was made by Professor Maria Strømme’s research team at Uppsala University and received a lot of media attention in 2013. The material has a very porous structure, where the surface of 1 gram corresponds to a half of the size of an ice hockey rink. Today, Upsalite is a registered trademark.

Several benefits

There are other solutions for the slow release of drugs. What is unique about Upsalite is that the material can also carry hard-soluble substances to facilitate their absorption in the body.

“Upsalite will hopefully solve some of the problems experienced by patients and doctors. It can provide an even level of medication in the blood, which would reduce the risk of side-effects. The patient may then not need to take the medication as many times per day”, says Tuulikki Lindmark, development manager for the Pharma business area at the Disruptive Materials company, which develops application areas for the material.

Better stomach medication

The researchers are investigating whether existing drugs against the chronic inflammatory diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are improved with Upsalite.

“We’ve achieved successful results when studying the prednisolone drug together with Upsalite in a lab model that resembles a human gastrointestinal system”, says Tuulikki Lindmark.

The company is now working to create the best recipe for the combination of the drug and Upsalite, and is also studying what it would take to initiate clinical trials in humans.

No competitor

Business developer Bengt Westrin says:

“It could become an interesting product on the market as the disease affects around one per cent of the population and requires lifelong treatment. Our preliminary market analysis shows that there is a niche to fill. We’ve not yet found anything similar to our intended product on the market in Europe or the United States. This type of drug product, in which the substance is already known, does not need as much time to reach the market as entirely new substances.”

Updated: 12 June 2017

Text: Elisabet Ottosson

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