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ARU x Lipolife: a successful knowledge transfer partnership

ARU graduate Sahrish Shermani, supervised by Professor Mohammad Najlah, has just completed a successful collaboration with wellbeing company Lipolife to improve their product design and scale up manufacturing processes of their liposomal supplements.

This partnership was born out of Lipolife’s realisation of the gap in knowledge and expertise needed to achieve its business goals. This collaboration was partial funded by Innovate UK, reducing the risk level for the company.

Gareth Meyer, CEO gmpriority pharma, tells us more.

The experience and knowledge gained through the knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) has been instrumental in helping to shape the business’ strategic approach to market growth. The KTP has also instilled a renewed enthusiasm and drive for developing new, innovative products for market.

The main investment of knowledge transfer is that we have developed our facilities as per the results, directions and recommendation of the associate and their supervised academic team.

The associate [Sahrish Shermani] was part of our research and development (R&D) team, as well as being part of the research group at the University. In addition to the fact that the KTP enriched the experience of the R&D group and provided a great platform for discussion, analysis, and troubleshooting, this also facilitated the use of both the company site and university site to achieve optimal outcomes and robust databased decisions.

The weekly visit of the academic supervisor to meet the associate also created a great opportunity for support and discussion with the whole team. Supported by the academic staff and collaborating with our R&D team, the associate has initiated the first trials of formulating alcohol-free formulations, with all related characterisation and analysis methods.

All our health and safety documents, SOPs and R&D reporting methods have been developed to adopt the academic system conveyed by the associate.

The experience of involvement in a KTP exceeded our expectations. The KTP has been a game changer for our company, it has cemented our place as one of the premier liposomal companies in the world with regards quality and innovation.

For ARU, the project has been of great benefit to students, staff and researchers. The associate, Sahrish, was an active member of the Pharmaceutical Research Group, supervised several undergraduate and postgraduate students, and supported PhD students and other researchers.

The academic team has been successful in establishing a further two KTP grants and one major research contract with the industry partners. KTP supervisor Mohammad Najlah, Professor of Pharmaceutical and Nano Medicine, said:

“The Knowledge Transfer Partnership has been a transformational journey for my research and created unbelievable opportunities for me to link with industry, develop my ideas and use my knowledge and expertise in collaboration with an industry partner to translate research from lab bench to store shelves."

ARU and Lipolife have plans for further cooperation. We're already sharing facilities; 50/50 funded PhD studentship are in place; and collaborations on other areas such as internships, anti-cancer projects, and guest speakers are under discussion.

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Find out more about our project with Lipolife which helped to develop knowledge of liposomal formulation.