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Cardiff collaboration wins diabetes grant

18 August 2016

Gold abstract

An innovative project which uses gold nanoparticles to develop diabetes treatments has won a major grant.

International pharmaceutical company Midatech Pharma is working with Cardiff University to develop treatments that help the pancreas produce insulin.

The £370,000 two-year grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will help scientists explore how gold nanoparticle technology can dampen unwanted autoimmune responses to normal healthy cells in the pancreas.

The research will be led by Professor Colin Dayan of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine who has a long-standing research interest in the immunopathology of type 1 diabetes.

Professor Colin Dayan said: “Cardiff University looks forward to this continued collaboration using Midatech's gold nanoparticle (GNP) technology.

“It has shown great potential to preferentially target specific immune cells, distribute rapidly to lymphoid tissues around the body, and modify the body's immune responses.  This will be an important project for autoimmune diseases generally and diabetes specifically, and we are looking forward to developing this platform."

Dr Jim Phillips, CEO of Midatech, said: "The application of gold nanoparticle technology in immunotherapy is developing rapidly and presents a significant opportunity to make a difference in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such diabetes, as well as our increasing focus on oncology indications including of brain, liver, pancreatic and ovarian cancer.

“The interest in applying Midatech's proprietary technology across a broad range of therapies demonstrates the potential of the platform and for the Group's pipeline."