June 30, 2011 by admin

Today, Thursday 30th June 2011, Irish owned BrePco Biopharma announced that they, in conjunction with a consortium of University Research Centres lead by Cork University Maternity Hospital, have successfully secured €5.66 million in funding for ongoing research into the treatment of critically ill premature newborns suffering from hypotension. This is a common problem amongst the most premature infants and is often associated with tragic outcomes, including brain injury and death. The collaboration, which brings together experts from 13 centres across Ireland, Europe and Canada, will develop a standard of care and uniquely tailored products for treating low blood pressure in such patients. The programme is being funded in part by the European Commission’s Healthcare FP7 Programme.*

Commenting on the investment, Co-Founder and Chairman of BrePco Biopharma, Paul Breen said;

“This is a significant milestone for our company, as well as for the researchers in Cork University Maternity Hospital with whom we have been working for the last two years. As this is a European and North American project being sponsored by an Irish company, it speaks volumes about the strength of our indigenous pharmaceutical industry and what we can offer to a global audience. Just to add to this, of the 8 clinical trial sites, 4 of them are based in Ireland – more proof of that strength”

The current treatments available were developed for adults and are not specifically licensed for use in premature babies. The aim of the trial is to develop a ready-to-use, licensed and approved treatment for this unique and vulnerable population. Dr. Eugene Dempsey, Consultant Neonatologist in the Cork University Maternity Hospital and Chief Investigator for the HIP [Hypotension in Premature Babies] trial added;

“There is a pressing need to develop an appropriately licensed medical treatment for the paediatric population and in particular for the most vulnerable, the preterm infant. The current treatment that is available, presents challenges within the intensive care unit and so, together with a consortia of experts including neonatologists, pharmacologists, neurophysiologists, developmental specialists we are seeking to bridge that gap in medical care. What we have produced will be more appropriate to administer to premature babies in particular. We are currently going through the clinical trial approval process and expect to commence clinical trials in Europe and Canada late this year.”

BrePco Biopharma is already positioning itself as an Irish success story on an international platform. With investment opportunities coming from Brussels and the USA, the company which began its life in the Rubicon Centre, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork has a very exciting future – definitely one to watch.

*The clinical trial is in part funded by the European Community’s FP7 research programme. If successful the company will be eligible for a 10-year regulatory exclusivity in the European Union by way of a Pediatric Use Marking Authorizing (PUMA). Subject to European Medicines Agency approval, dosing in the trial is anticipated to commence this autumn. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2002-2013] under grant agreement, Health-F5-2010-260777.

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Pictured at today’s announcement of the €5.66 million investment in funding for BrePco Biopharma are; [L-R] Dr. Eugene Dempsey, Consultant Neonatologist, Cork University Maternity Hospital and Department of Paediatrics and Project Coordinator for the HIP Trial; and Seamus O’Loan, CEO BrePco Biopharma.


Gillian Breen

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