Bristol researchers receive funding for super-chlorhexidine

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Bristol researchers receive funding for super-chlorhexidine

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Dr Michele Barbour (Photograph: Bhagesh Sachania, University of Bristol)
Dental Tribune International

By Dental Tribune International

Thu. 12 May 2016

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BRISTOL, UK: A University of Bristol spin-off has been awarded almost £1 million to bring a new technology to the market that could help to fight infections in the mouth and body. An enhanced form of chlorhexidine, the substance, named Pertinax, is said to offer improved properties compared with those of the original substance.

Overall, Pertinax Pharma has received around £900,000 from southern England technology investor Mercia Fund Management, Innovate UK (through its Aid for Start-Ups scheme) and an unnamed private investor. The company’s founder and chief scientific officer, Dr Michele Barbour, who is also a senior lecturer in biomaterials at the university’s School of Oral and Dental Sciences, said that the company will focus on the development of applications in dentistry first, where the technology already has relevance to a number of areas. Further uses in medicine will follow in time.

“We’re very excited about Pertinax’s potential,” she said.

A proven antimicrobial agent, chlorhexidine has been used in a wide range of products and treatment processes to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Since it is a new formulation of the substance, Pertinax is reported to possess the same antibacterial properties, but without some of the shortcomings of the original formulation, such as short efficacy time. Possible future applications are its use in cements to reduce the failure rates of dental fillings, for example.

“With a strong management team and innovative product, Pertinax Pharma has the potential to take its product from dental tool to a must-have anti-infective across a wide range of industries, from veterinary care, to cosmetics and even home appliances,” Investment Manager at Mercia Fund Management Dr Brijesh Roy commented.

Mercia Fund Management recently provided funding for another oral health care-related project by the University of Manchester.

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