World market leader moves UK pharma operations to Thornton Science Park

Simon Garner, left, Prof Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of University of Chester, centre
X The Business Desk

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A world market leader, which helps more than 100 million people around the world to manage their asthma, has moved its UK pharma operations to the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park.

Koura is a market leader when it comes to the medical propellants used in asthma inhalers.

Sold under the Zephex brand, its propellants have been used in the production of more than 3.5 billion inhalers, helping millions of people worldwide every year.

Zephex products are used in around 75% of the world’s metered dose inhalers (MDIs), which are lifesaving and health-enhancing devices that deliver a specific amount of medication to the lungs, through an aerosol.

Previously known as Mexichem Fluor, Koura has had office and lab space at Thornton Science Park since 2018.

Starting with just 10 staff based at Thornton, the company has expanded its footprint on site, having taken up additional office space in Thornton’s Building 49, which has Enterprise Zone Status as part of the Cheshire Science Corridor, and added more people to its growing Pharma team.

Paul Vernon, senior executive director of commercial operations at the University of Chester, and chief executive of Thornton Research Properties, said: “We are delighted that Koura has chosen to base its UK pharma operations at Thornton Science Park.

“Thornton is already recognised as an international centre of industry and academic expertise – already home to 37 businesses, collectively employing 600 people.

“The fact that Koura has expanded so quickly here, since having a base at Thornton last year, demonstrates their support of our model. The company also has plans to engage further with our Faculty of Science and Engineering.

“These are very exciting times and we look forward to seeing the results that this partnership will bring.”

Simon Gardner, pharma general manager from Koura, added: “Moving Koura’s UK pharma operations to Thornton Science Park signals a positive step forward and Koura’s commitment to bringing Zephex®152a to market, delivering a brand new, environmentally-friendly technology that dramatically improves environmental impact and preserves patient choice.

“Our new offices have the capacity for over 45, highly-skilled project team members and support staff and we look forward to expanding our team in the coming months.”