The University of Liverpool has launched a new research center for the development of revolutionary long-acting medicines that could transform the prevention and treatment of many diseases across the globe. Established as part of a £30.5 million ($40 million USD) international research consortium, primarily funded by Unitaid, the Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT) will be the first of its kind in the world. CELT is co-directed by pharmacologist Professor Andrew Owen and materials chemist Professor Steve Rannard at the University of Liverpool.
By repurposing existing medicines into slow-release formulations, where drug effectiveness can be sustained over several months, “long-acting” technology has already been successfully implemented in the fields of contraception and schizophrenia. It now has the potential to improve the outcomes for treatment and prevention for numerous health care needs and has a considerable program on infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, Hepatitis C and tuberculosis, which particularly impact low- and middle-income countries. In the last year, the researchers have also been investigating applications for COVID-19.
Combining world-leading research from the University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and Faculty of Science and Engineering, CELT aims to broaden the knowledge of long-acting medicines in order to change the way both chronic and acute diseases are treated on a global scale. Working with global partners, CELT scientists from the fields of materials chemistry and pharmacology will develop innovative interventions to treat critical global health problems, and engage with consumers and health care provider organizations to better understand how long-acting drug delivery can be used most effectively.
Work within the center is already well underway to develop long-acting formulations for malaria and TB prevention, as well as a single-injection cure for hepatitis C as part of the LONGEVITY project. Several other projects are ongoing, which focus upon understanding the pharmacological opportunities for oral, injectable, implantable, and transdermal long-acting approaches.
This was reported by University of Liverpool on January 12, 2021.
Contact information: Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics, University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L69 3BX, United Kingdom; +44 (0) 151 794 2000; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/centre-of-excellence-for-long-acting-therapeutics/