Experts in Bradford have been handed a grant worth £100,000 to develop fast relief drug therapy to help people improve their bladder control.
The cash for research and development from the Government’s Technology Strategy Board will enable CrystecPharma, a crystal and particle engineering company linked to Bradford University, to develop its innovative therapy.
Leading the work is the firm’s chief scientist, Prof Peter York, a global expert in the use of supercritical fluid technology, which is used to make the new treatment.
This improves the performance of medicines by creating drug particles which dissolve more quickly in the body, giving quicker relief.
“Current therapies don’t act quickly enough to alleviate patients’ symptoms before involuntary urination occurs,” he said.
“To achieve short-term bladder control current drugs are often used at doses which cause many side effects.
“It is hoped the use of supercritical fluid technology will help to create a medicine which revolutionises the treatment of this condition and improves the quality of life for millions of people around the world who suffer from incontinence.”
The new treatment will enable sufferers to take a new form of medicine immediately they feel they need it. Once research and development work is completed next year, the firm hopes to find a major pharmaceutical partner to develop and market the therapy.
Although precise numbers are not known, the NHS estimates that between three and six million people in Britain are coping with the inconvenience of urinary incontinence, while it has been estimated that around 500 million people suffer from the condition worldwide.
It affects twice as many women as men and becomes more common with age, although it is also linked with pregnancy and birth, obesity and a family history of the condition.
There are variety of different treatments and experts also say controlling weight, reducing alcohol consumption and keeping fit can reduce the risk of developing it.