Agroceutical Products, a bioresearch company based in Powys, Wales, is helping thousands of Alzheimer’s patients worldwide by supplying galantamine, a compound derived from daffodils that slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
The company, which grows and harvests Wales’ national flower, has been established by former sheep farmer Kevin Stephens in 2012.
Agroceutical Products grows the flowers 1,000ft above sea level in the Black Mountains and the high altitude is said to be the reason why the flowers produce more galantamine than daffodils grown anywhere else.
After harvesting, the company processes and supplies the daffodils to pharmaceutical companies to be crystallised into prescription tablets and capsules.
The company produces around 20kg of galantamine every year, helping more than 9,000 Alzheimer’s patients across the world.
Currently, Agroceutical Products exports the product to the US and Canada, and intends to enter the New Zealand market with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Minister of State for Trade and Exports Rona Fairhead said: “I’m delighted to see that the team at Agroceutical Products are bringing the medical benefits of Welsh daffodils to Alzheimer’s patients worldwide.”
DIT has hailed the company’s success at the RHS Flower Show, Cardiff, where companies showcase the best of horticulture and demonstrate how gardens can benefit human health and wellbeing.
Several companies, including Agroceutical Products, will be displayed during the Beijing Expo 2019 from April to October.
Agroceutical Products co-founder Kevin Stephens said: “It’s amazing to think that the Welsh national emblem, the humble daffodil, has the potential to improve the lives of Alzheimer’s patients across the world, while providing an economic future for hill farmers and their families across Wales.
“We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received to navigate a difficult development pathway.
“The assistance from the UK Government, Welsh Government, multiple universities and many enthusiastic individuals has helped us develop a methodology that is sustainable, scalable and cost-effective.”