Use of the iron chelator drug deferiprone — first developed by
researchers at King's College London (KCL) — has extended the lives of
thalassaemia patients and is of great utility for those with cardiac
problems as it can remove excess iron from the heart. For this reason
deferiprone has more recently gained United States approval. KCL
researchers have also developed methods for the synthesis and analysis of
markers of iron chelation therapy that are being utilised in clinical
trials by Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Vifor Pharma and by clinicians.
Several neurodegenerative diseases are associated with elevated brain iron
levels and the use of deferiprone is also being investigated in clinical
trials by ApoPharma and hospitals in the UK and France.