Proveca Ltd were delighted to win the prestigious "Start-Up Company of 2013" at the BioNow Awards.
Proveca is pioneering the development of medicines for children in UK and Europe. Currently 50 to 90% of medicines used in children do not have an appropriate licence or formulation. Children are given the adult version of a drug (perhaps crushed and added to juice) or may have a ‘special’ product made. The team at Proveca saw the opportunity to benefit from new EU regulations whereby medicines formulated and licensed for children would be granted 10 years’ market exclusivity under the new PUMA (Paediatric Use Marketing Authorisation) regulation. The team at Proveca were responsible for the first medicine, Buccolam, licensed under the PUMA regulation, in their previous company Auralis. Building on that experience and expertise they formed Proveca, to access the EU paediatric drug market, where individual products are valued at £10m-£30m pa. Following initial assessment of its pipeline products, for suitability of formulation development, regulatory and clinical needs, Proveca applies for the significant first stage of the development process, an approved PIP (Paediatric Investigation Plan). To date 2 PIPs have been approved. Its lead candidate, an oral solution of glycopyrronium bromide for the treatment of chronic pathological drooling, in children with neurological deficiencies such as cerebral palsy, now has a stable formulation and will go into clinical trial in the first quarter of 2014. Product launch is anticipated in early 2015. Its second PIP is for the development of a product for haemodynamic insufficiency in babies born between 24 and 32 weeks premature. Part of a Framework 7 Grant the project will run for 5 years. Proveca operates an outsourced model accessing external expertise and ensuring low overheads. Proveca has benefitted from several TSB grants including proof of market, proof of concept and development of prototype, plus a BioMedical Catalyst feasibility grant. In December 2012 Albion Ventures invested £2.6m in Proveca to develop the glycopyrronium bromide product and progress the pipeline. Proveca will realise value through direct commercialisation of its products or outright sale to larger pharmaceutical companies.
Co-founder Dr Helen Shaw receiving the Award from Graham Bond of Baker Tilly.