Natural pain control products to be developed from plants


Finding an effective pain control product plays an important role in producing a better quality of life for many people. To create an effective natural product formulation is important as more and more people seek non-synthetic alternatives.

Ampika Ltd (Ampika), a spin out company from the University of Cambridge Department of Social Anthropology,

which was financed by the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds (CESF) is pleased to announce that it has finalised and executed a licence agreement for the remaining 50% interest in a natural product formulation for pain, NSL-101, with NeuroSolutions Ltd (NeuroSolutions), a 100% subsidiary of NeuroDiscovery Ltd (ASX: NDL), a neurology-focused research and development company with its head offices in Australia.

The 100% ownership of a natural product formulation for the treatment of pain provides NeuroSolutions a major opportunity to develop a pain compound to address significant healthcare market needs in the dietary supplement, functional food and pharmaceutical markets.

Dr. Francoise Freedman, Director of Research at Ampika Ltd, explained "Ampika was created on the basis of trust developed over years of fieldwork with Western Amazonian shamans. As a Cambridge anthropologist I feel privileged to act as an authorised bridge between the plant knowledge of the elders and beneficial applications derived from this knowledge in the wider world".

Dr. Geraldine Rodgers, CESF, commented "We are pleased to have played a part in helping establish an ethical business model that will benefit the wider world and the local communities".

Professor Marilyn Strathern, Head of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, further commented that "The department appreciates the possibilities of long term benefits both to medicine and to the source communities whose knowledge was the starting point".

Mark Treherne, Chairman of NeuroDiscovery, said "how delighted I am to be working with Ampika and look forward to a fruitful collaboration."

NeuroSolutions now plans to further progress the development of NSL-101 and is currently planning to initiate an efficacy trial in human volunteers during 2007.

The specific terms of the licence remain confidential but the licence will include an upfront payment of 10,000 together with future milestones payments and royalties.

About Ampika

Ampika, meaning 'strong medicine' in Quechua, was founded in 2001 as a Cambridge 'spin out' limited company to commercially exploit a uniquely rich knowledge base of Western Amazonian medicinal plants collected by Franoise Barbira Freedman over 25 years. The company was set up with finance from the Cambridge Enterprise seed Funds. Considerable care was taken to create an ethical business model which recognises the local contribution to the knowledge base.

About NeuroDiscovery

NeuroDiscovery Ltd is an ASX listed neurology research and development company which owns 100% of NeuroSolutions Ltd (ASX Code NDL).

About NeuroSolutions

NeuroSolutions Limited is a profitable service company, applying its broad expertise and drug discovery platforms to become a leading provider of specialised electrophysiological assays to the biopharmaceutical industry. Electrophysiology is a specialised technique which is used to record electrical activity in membranes, cells, tissues or in vivo. NeuroSolutions current clients include many other established pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

In parallel to running its service business, the Company is also exploiting its in house technologies and expertise for its own internal R&D and has a mature pipeline of programmes underway for the treatment of pain. During 2007 the company intends to commence Phase I trials on its lead compound NSL-043 in partnership with Sosei Co Ltd, a listed Japanese biopharmaceutical company and also NSL 101, the company's 100% owned natural product formulation.

About NSL-101

NSL-101 has been identified from the Ampika Phytobase, as a natural product formulation effective in alleviating the symptoms of neuropathic pain. Electrophysiological studies demonstrate that a preparation of NSL-101 fully inhibits ectopic discharge recorded from the rat nerve in the company's models of pain. This is of particular interest as ectopic discharge underlies pain associated with this model.

Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds

The University Challenge Fund is one of the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds. Cambridge Enterprise facilitates the commercial development of intellectual property (IP) developed at the University of Cambridge and the provision of consultancy services by academics. Cambridge Enterprise is one of the United Kingdom's leading knowledge transfer offices providing consultancy and licensing patents and other IP to existing companies, both large and small as well as to spinouts formed to exploit University technology.

For the academic year ending 2006, 61 licences were entered into and income from licensing exceeded 3.3 million. Additionally consultancy agreements generated 2.9 million. Working together with angels, venture capital funds, University staff and students, Cambridge Enterprise facilitates the formation of around thirty new companies each year (about five of which are based on University-owned intellectual property).


For further information please contact: Shirley Jamieson, Head of Marketing, Cambridge Enterprise Limited Tel: 01223 760 339 email:

To read more information, click here.

Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.

Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge