Working together: UK and Chinese Government Funding Secured for Herbal COPD Trials

COPD trial

Since the beginning of Phoenix Medical, we have always strived to be more than just a wholesaler. What sets us apart from other companies is the fact we are a manufacturer, educator and an investor in research. We pride ourselves on being a promotional platform within the TCM industry and it is with great honour that we can announce the next step in our journey!

We are working with the Centre for Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Southampton Clinical Trails Unit (SCTU) at the University of Southampton and Anhui Jiren Pharmaceutical Company to investigate the effects of the herbal formula, ShuFeng JieDu. The collaborative project is being funded by Innovate-UK and the Chinese government’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). The government-funded clinical trial has been launched to investigate Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of chronic lung disease COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). COPD affects over one million patients in the UK and flare-ups are usually treated with antibiotics and steroids.

However, recent studies have shown only 35% of exacerbations of COPD require antibiotic-use. The trial aims to work with primary care centres in the UK and affiliated hospitals in China to reduce the use of antibiotics and promote Chinese medicine as an alternative.

The combination of eight traditional herbs will be prescribed to patients alongside conventional treatment, to assess whether it will help COPD patients with flare-us to improve faster and reduce the need for antibiotics. Laboratory teams in both Southampton and Beijing will conduct in-vitro and in-vivo preclinical testing before a feasibility study is conducted by the SCTU team on patients in Sussex. Once the feasibility study has been concluded, the trial will involve 80 COPD patients in the UK and 300 patients in China in the hope to reduce the use of antibiotics.

We were lucky enough to visit the Centre for Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine in Beijing and two of the affiliated hospitals where the trial will be taking place. The healthcare system in China is vastly different to the UK. Patients will visit the hospital for minor and major health problems, rather than visiting primary care. Depending on the individual patient’s condition, COPD patients in China are usually hospitalised and given antibiotics for around 12-16 days, then later discharged once they have completed the course of antibiotics and the symptoms have improved. The trial hopes to not only reduce antibiotic use but also minimise the pressure on hospital resources.

We were also able to visit JiRen Pharmaceutical in BoZhou, a historic city in the Anhui province. The city is home to the largest Chinese medicine market in the world and has cultivated herbs for over 2000 years. JiRen Pharmaceutical is the leading supplier of ShuFeng JieDu capsules and will be providing all materials, including the placebo, for the feasibility and clinical trials. JiRen’s factories, production lines and products are all approved by Chinese and EU GMP and follow strict quality control standards to ensure patients receive a fully controlled and safe product.

The role of Phoenix Medical Ltd within the project is managing and overseeing the distribution, quality control and Traditional Herbal Registration from the Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We have been chosen for this project as we have been recognised within the industry for our commitment to provide the highest quality of products, services and ethical standards. It is a great honour to represent the TCM industry within the UK and China and be part of a monumental project.

COPD

We will, of course, keep you updated on the progress of the trial over the next three years and hope to report great success! In the meantime, Phoenix will continue to strive to provide the best quality products and services to ensure practitioners, patients and the general public receive the best depiction of Chinese medicine possible.

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