University of Limerick scientists tackle pharma's biggest challenge

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Dr Luis Padrela of UL’s Bernal Institute

Dr Luis Padrela of UL’s Bernal Institute

SCIENTISTS at the University of Limerick are teaming up with Enterprise Ireland on a project aiming to tackle the biggest challenge facing the pharmaceutical industry.

While new drugs are continually developed, the majority of these never reach the patient because they are not soluble enough to be absorbed in the body, according to Dr Luis Padrela of UL’s Bernal Institute.

The key to resolving this lies in nanotechnology. 

“The manufacture of these nanotech drugs on a commercial scale remains a major challenge. That is the problem that we intend to solve,” Dr Padrela said. 

The team will develop continuous scaleable methods of drug manufacture at the nano-level, with the project anticipated to run for the next two years.

Enterprise Ireland has invested nearly half a million euro into the project that hopes to bring their solutions to market.