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British drug company opens new facility in China
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A British company at the leading edge of drug testing and discovery is to open a new facility in China with the support of British government organization Trade & Investment's collaborative research and development (R&D) program.

The new registered office facility of e-Therapeutics in China's southeastern city of Nanjing will allow the company to collaborate closely with Chinese biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to develop new medicines for the Chinese market, a Trade & Investment news release said yesterday.

The firm has developed breakthrough software technology that can speedily discover and test the suitability of drugs to treat conditions such as asthma, heart disease and cancer before testing them on people.

Drug compounds bind in varying degrees to many different proteins within the body. e-Therapeutics' new system employs a powerful computational platform to model accurately the vast number of interactions that take place.

The system can be applied in the search for new drugs, finding new clinical uses for existing drugs and to identify the effects of interaction between drugs within the body.

The research tools are able to anticipate the potential for dangerous toxicity so as to help prevent situations such as the Northwick Park disaster in 2005 when six volunteers suffered organ failure after their immune systems went into overdrive during drug trials.

Several Chinese medical companies had approached e-Therapeutics for research collaboration to support their mission to tackle some of the most prevalent medical conditions in China.

Professor Malcolm Young, chief executive at e-Therapeutics, said: "We are delighted to be launching this new R&D facility and look forward to applying our knowledge and expertise to a new set of research challenges."

"The investment we have made in increasing the capacity of our systems should make an important contribution to the development of a new generation of life saving drugs," he added

E-Therapeutics has previously made breakthroughs in the treatment of asthma, depression, cancer, high cholesterol levels and in pain control. In January 2008, it demonstrated that it had created a drug that could kill the MRSA superbug (a bacterium responsible for difficult-to-treat infections in humans).

(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2009)

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