PuraPharm signed a cooperation agreement with The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU): The First New Drug with Integrative Research – “Ren Shu Chang Le Granules” for treating Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Successfully Granted Clinical Trial for Drug Approval by CFDA

10 November 2016

PuraPharm Corporation Ltd. (PuraPharm), Hong Kong’s largest concentrated Chinese medicine granules manufacturer and also self-operating the biggest chain of Chinese medicine clinics, signed a cooperation agreement today with The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) to develop a new Chinese drug – Ren Shu Chang Le Granules. Based on the two universities’ integrative medical research results on Irritable Bowel Syndrome – diarrhea type (IBS-D) and profound knowledge in Chinese medicine technology, PuraPharm successfully transformed the research-used decoction into Chinese medicine granules. The new drug is the first Hong Kong research project being granted approval for clinical trial by the China Food & Drug Administration (CFDA) on treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.  

 Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a type of functional gastrointestinal disorder. Patients who are diagnosed with IBS suffer from bowel dysfunction, gastric disorder or intestinal hypersensitivity.  Patients’ endoscopy may appear normal, but they often come with abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, which affect their daily life.  It is estimated that 10-20% of adults around the world suffer from IBS, among whom 3-6% exhibit severe symptoms. IBS is also one of the most common digestive diseases in Hong Kong, with approximately 310,000 patients suffering from it.

 The causes of IBS are unknown. Symptoms are generally related to the patients’ lifestyle and environment, such as their eating habits, stress level and emotional state. At present, treatment on IBS focuses on the relief of symptoms and lifestyle changes.  For example, when patients have abdominal pain and diarrhea, the doctor would prescribe medication to reduce bowel movement, but more than half of the patients find such kind of western medication ineffective.

 In view of this, Faculty of Medicine of CUHK and School of Chinese Medicine of HKBU, together with the support of the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC), have started exploring the treatment on IBS with Chinese medicine since 2002. The Integrative Medical Research team of the two universities took reference from the traditional Chinese “diarrhea formula” and revised it into a new formula for treating IBS-D. The prescription also includes Chinese herbal medicine found only in the Ling Nan area, e.g. Hong Kong.

 With profound knowledge in Chinese medicine technology, PuarPharm transformed the two universities’ research result – “Ren Shu Chang Le Granules” formula into Chinese medicine granules. And the new drug also granted approval for clinical trial by CFDA. The first clinical trial will commence in 2017 in Mainland China to verify its effectiveness, and “Ren Shu Chang Le Granules” is expected to finish new drug registration in Mainland China in four to five years. It will bring a new treatment to IBS to the patients in Greater China and rest of the world, and the Chinese medicine researched and developed jointly by universities and corporate in Hong Kong would be beneficial globally. 

 “Ren Shu Chang Le Granules” not only exemplifies the collaboration among Hong Kong Chinese and Western medicine research and development elites to develop integrative medicine, it also demonstrates Hong Kong technological capability in developing new Chinese medicine, and transforming positive research results into new drug via clinical trial. Moreover, this partnership illustrates the first successful collaboration amongst the government, industry, academia and research sectors, promoting innovation and technological advancement on local Chinese medicine and developing Hong Kong into an international hub for Chinese medicine.

10 Nov 2016