Nottingham celebrates a local discovery that changed the world's medicine cabinets12 December 2011
Original discovery team members gather to celebrate 50 years of ibuprofen.
Nottingham, December 9, 2011
Fifty years ago a team of Nottingham based scientists discovered ibuprofen, the family pain treatment which went on to become one of the world's best known medicines.
The original research team leader, Dr. Stewart Adams, will attend a celebration event today at BioCity, Pennyfoot Street, the site of the original Boots laboratory where much of the work took place.
Dr. Adams said: "I am surprised and delighted at how big a worldwide success ibuprofen continues to be. It is particularly so when I look back on how it all started in 1953 in the front room of a house on the outskirts of Nottingham, subsequently to be completed here in this building. But in the end many people across the organisation contributed to its eventual success - we were a great team."
One of the great achievements of ibuprofen is how it has provided millions of people around the world with accessible, effective and well-tolerated pain relief. The medicine, which is often used to treat conditions like headaches, sprains and period pains in the UK, is an important treatment for more serious conditions like managing rheumatoid arthritis in the developing world.
Ibuprofen was an important break through because during the recent decades the pain treatments available carried a relatively high risk of side effects, particularly at high doses. A new, more effective and better-tolerated treatment was required. Following its discovery in 1961, Ibuprofen was launched in the UK under the brand name Brufen in 1969, and then in the United States in 1974.
Subsequently, its safety record was considered such that it became available as a non-prescription Over-The-Counter (OTC) medicine in 1983 in the UK, and in 1984 in the USA. Its good record as a well tolerated and effective inflammatory pain-relief medicine has been recognised worldwide, such that it is now available in over 80 countries.
Dr. Glenn Crocker, Chief Executive of BioCity said: " We are extremely proud of the Pennyfoot Street connection with ibuprofen. It's an inspiration for many of the 70 biotechnology companies and laboratories located here at BioCity. The type of scientific R&D being celebrated today is essential to the United Kingdom and the thought that another break through like ibuprofen might be discovered here in Nottingham drives us on. We are also very pleased that Abbott as licensees of the original Brufen brand are partners for today's event."
Nottingham City Council's Deputy Leader, Graham Chapman, said: "Nottingham is a creative city and has continued to build on the invention of the Ibuprofen. Because of the significant strengths in the science sector, particularly Life Sciences, Nottingham was designated an official Science City in 2005.
Sciences continue to play a massive part in the city's growth and economy. We are very proud to have Biocity - Europe's biggest biopharma incubating facility here in Nottingham. This combined with the research that the universities carry out and being home to Boots means that Nottingham continues to pioneer new medication.
The council is committed to the future growth of science-led business and research in Nottingham by hosting and supporting the Science and Technology Advisory Council. All members are working together to ensure that science, research and particularly Life Sciences continue to help define Nottingham's future."