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Collaborative Success Stories: Answering the Burning Question


A medication invented at the University of Missouri provides relief for millions of patients with acid reflux and heartburn.

Acid reflux is on the rise in the U.S., with as many as one in five Americans experiencing the discomfort of heartburn every week. Many sufferers find relief from Zegerid, a medicine made possible by MU researchers and biopharmaceutical company Santarus, Inc.

Zegerid combines the strongest known type of acid blocker, known as a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI), with an antacid. The medicine treats heartburn, stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease and damage to the esophagus, and it also helps prevent stomach bleeding in patients who have a serious illness. Thanks to innovations developed by MU researchers—and unlike other PPI-based medications—the drug does not require an acid-resistant coating, meaning that it is available in liquid form for those with swallowing difficulties.

MU licensed this technology to Santarus, Inc. in 2001, and since that time sales of Zegerid have totaled over $1 billion. In 2013, Santarus was sold to Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., for more than $2.5 billion.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine