Saturday 1 October 2016

Mulligan's Adapt Pharma develops landmark new treatment to save heroin overdose victims

Published 24/05/2015 | 02:30

Low-profile bio-tech investor Seamus Mulligan is working on a revolutionary new treatment that could save the live of heroin overdose victims
Low-profile bio-tech investor Seamus Mulligan is working on a revolutionary new treatment that could save the live of heroin overdose victims

Low-profile bio-tech investor Seamus Mulligan is working on a revolutionary new treatment that could save the live of heroin overdose victims. Last year his new business Adapt Pharma raised €95m from investors - primarily Mulligan himself - develop new drug treatments. Adapt is working on a nasal spray for "the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose". This includes heroin users. The WHO estimates that 69,000 a year die from "opioid overdose."

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The drug used in the nasal spray is already approved for treating overdoses. However, Adapt's new technique is to turn the drug into a nasal spray. This spray can be used by ordinary people to help save the life of those suffering from a suspected overdose. A major clinical study completed three weeks ago has endorsed the science. "The study met its objectives and demonstrated that the intranasal formulation of naloxone delivered the targeted naloxone dose as expected."

Seamus Mulligan is one of the shrewdest investors in the Irish biotech space. He's built up a €400m plus fortune from so called "orphan" drugs. These are chemicals that big companies have developed but don't really fancy. What Mulligan does and does spectacularly is to see the potential of these chemicals and prove up the science which could turn it into a bona fide block buster drug. "We focus on adapting current medical knowledge to enhance existing and develop new medicines for these specific patient populations with unmet medical needs," according to the company.

The former Elan executive merged his Azur Pharma into Nasdaq listed Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2012. The combined company is now worth $11bn.

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