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Research results to cut childhood allergies set to boost business for Cultech
A ground breaking clinical trial demonstrating how specific probiotics can significantly reduce the risk of allergies in children is set to drive the growth of Welsh independent biotech company Cultech over the next few years.
The trail showed that Lab4 ‘friendly’ probiotic bacteria strains developed by Cultech halved the risk of allergic sensitisation in infants up to two years of age while the risk of atopic eczema was also reduced by over 50%. It is anticipated that this will be linked to a reduction in asthma and rhinitis in older children and adults.
The results follow a two year trial by Swansea University when products containing Lab4 were given to women during the latter part of pregnancy and given daily to their babies in the first six months.
The findings are backed up by clinical evidence published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and presented at a recent conference of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), that demonstrated Lab4b probiotic products can significantly reduce the risk of allergy in children.
Cultech has now introduced the new PROVEN family of products under its LAB4 brand – which includes Lab4 for adults and Lab4b for pregnant women and their babies for use from birth to four years.
Managing Director Dr Nigel Plummer said these products are set to boost business over the next two years when it is anticipated exports will account for 50% of turnover which in the year to December 2011 was more than £16.5million.
On a visit to the company’s facility on Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot this week Business Minister Edwina Hart congratulated Cultech on its ground breaking research.
”Cultech is a leader in its field, making a considerable mark on markets around the world and I am delighted the Welsh Government has helped support its development over a number of years. This is a made in Wales company working in one of our key sectors and making a significant contribution to the regional economy while also helping to raise the profile of Wales’ expertise in life sciences.
“Its success is due to its on-going investment in research, development and innovation, bringing its own new branded products to market while also working as a contract manufacturer to independent UK and overseas healthcare industries.”
Dr Plummer said practical support from Welsh Government had been invaluable over the past eighteen years in helping the company invest in training, research in collaboration with Welsh universities and new product development leading to manufacturing expansion and overall growth.
“Cultech will continue to invest heavily in R&D to build the intellectual property database and expertise in particular technological areas. We will expand and develop sales of our own branded products nationally and internationally and increase these as a proportion of total company output with the aim of at least doubling turnover over five years, especially through export markets.”