A formula to reduce the chance of transplant patients rejecting their new organs is being developed in a Huddersfield medicines factory.

Huddersfield Pharmacy Specials, located near Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI), is testing a solution which is designed to preserve donated organs before they are transplanted.

The solution is designed so organs – such as a liver, lung or even a heart – can be preserved in a better condition and for longer.

According to official figures, survival rates for patients 10 years after their transplants are fairly high for kidney transplants.

But they are lower for organs like the pancreas, lungs and heart.

It is hoped the solution, containing medicines and vitamins, will reduce the likelihood of transplant patients rejecting their new organs.

The colourless solution was invented by Leeds Solutions Limited and is being tested by the unit.

Unit director Dr Burrinder Grewal said: “We are delighted to know that such a product, developed here in Huddersfield, could impact the lives of millions of patients around the world.”

Huddersfield Pharmacy Specials unit. From left: unit director Burrinder Grewal, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, and quality control managers, Darren Marsland and Andrew Myers
Huddersfield Pharmacy Specials unit. From left: unit director Burrinder Grewal, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, and quality control managers, Darren Marsland and Andrew Myers

Dr Grewal, a pharmacist, added: “The solution under development increases organ preservation time and the viability of the organ for transplant.

“The solution increases organ viability which reduces the chances of an organ being rejected after transplant and hence, increasing the chance of successful transplant operations for patients.”

The unit, owned by Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust which runs HRI, produces and develops medicines.

It produces thousands of medicines including sterile eye drops, non-sterile oral solutions for children, ointments for skin conditions, antibiotics for patients attending A&E and emergency pre-packs to prevent anaphylactic shock in patients with allergies.

Dr Grewal added: “Huddersfield Pharmacy Specials (HPS) is an exceptionally innovative Yorkshire-based organisation staffed by highly talented and dedicated staff, which has the capability not only to design and develop a medicinal product from scratch but then to also manufacture it and distribute it throughout the NHS and the UK.

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“HPS truly offers the NHS and the industry as a whole a valuable and importantly quality driven service.”

On a recent visit to the unit, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman described it as a ‘hidden gem’.

Mr Sheerman said: “HPS is clearly a hidden gem. It is now rightly developing plans to have a greater national and international presence and all from a base in Huddersfield.”

Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust non-executive director Prof Peter Roberts added: “Strategically HPS is an important asset to the trust and to the entire Kirklees and Calderdale economy.”