Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Design of iron binding polymers

Haemochromatosis leads to the hyperabsorption of iron from the diet. It is a relatively common disease in North Europe. Over a long period of time, typically 30 years, body iron accumulates in such patients to a toxic level. Toxicity can be expressed by adverse cardiac, endocrine or liver symptoms.

One possible strategy to avoid the accumulation of body iron is to introduce a biocompatible polymer in the diet, which is capable of selectively binding iron and thereby preventing its absorption. A range of such polymers have been synthesised and tested in this project and several show potential for clinical development. We have designed an extremely active iron binding polymer which inhibits gastrointestinal absorption of iron. A Swiss pharmaceutical company is currently in negotiation with King's College London concerning IP.

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