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New treatment may work with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida

Published on 27 August 2013

 

The recent publication by Professor Nicholas Greene and his colleagues at the UCL Institute of Child Health in the journal Brain, describes a new treatment that could work alongside folic acid, to boost its effectiveness and prevent a greater proportion of neural tube defects – such as spina bifida – in early pregnancy.

This research shows that the new treatment, when tested in mice, reduced the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) by 85 per cent. This new approach was also successful in preventing some kinds of NTDs that are currently unresponsive to folic acid.

It is hoped that if this data translates into the clinic, this nucleotide treatment could boost the effects of folic acid, and offer expectant mothers an even more reliable safeguard against relatively common defects, like spina bifida.

The development was supported by UCLB Proof of Concept funding and UCLB has filed patents covering this novel approach.

Dr Chris Williams, UCLB Business Manager on the project commented: ‘We are extremely excited about the data currently being generated and look forward to supporting the team in identifying suitable partners to realise and deliver its benefits in the clinic.’

Links

UCL Press Release: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0813/12082013-Treatment-may-work-with-folic-acid-to-prevent-neural-tube-defects-like-spina-bifida-Greene

UCLB Technology Record: http://www.uclb.com/technology-finder/technology/formulations-for-the-prevention-of-neural-tube-defects

Article in Brain: http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/08/08/brain.awt209.short?rss=1

For further information, please contact Dr Chris Williams, Senior Business Manager:

Email: c.williams@uclb.com, Telephone: 020 7679 9000

About UCLB

UCLB is a leading technology transfer company that supports and commercialises research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities.

UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from the laboratory to market.

UCLB supports UCL’s Grand Challenges of increasing UCL’s positive impact on and contribution to Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.

For further information, please visit www.uclb.com

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