Medtech Accelerator, a joint venture involving New Anglia LEP and innovation hub Health Enterprise East (HEE), has unveiled its latest round of successfully funded projects, with financial awards totalling nearly half a million pounds.
Awards of between £80,000 and £125,000 each were given to four separate medical technology innovations: a safer injection system for regional anaesthesia, vacuum therapy for leaks in the upper gastrointestinal (UGI) tract, a non-invasive sleep apnoea diagnostic device, and a pioneering technology to improve the efficacy of tissue ablation, used to destroy tumours.
Two local projects to have received funding in this round are:
£124,796 Bimodal Electric Tissue Ablation (BETA) – Next Generation Radiofrequency Ablation
Dr David Brooks: Ablatus Therapeutics Limited (spin-out company from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
Tissue ablation is a surgical procedure used to destroy tissue, such as a tumour, in situ. Current application of the procedure is limited in terms of the size and location of tumours which can be treated. Bimodal Electric Tissue Ablation (BETA) offers the potential to address some of the problems of the most commonly-used ablation system, by utilising a combination of AC and DC power which prevents tissue damage created by charring and increases the size of the zone which can be treated. The technology was originally developed within the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) and spun out of the hospital as Ablatus Therapeutics in May 2016 with £500k (including £200k from New Anglia Capital) of initial investment. This award is part of a follow-on funding round being led by the Medtech Accelerator that will support further technology development towards CE-marking and human study trials at the NNUH.
£80,000 for SAFIRA – Safer Injection for Regional Anaesthesia
Dr John Gibson: Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust
Safer Injection System for Regional Anaesthesia (SAFIRA) provides a simpler, quicker and cheaper method to inject regional anaesthetic agents and reduces the risks associated with the standard procedure. Over 6 million regional anaesthetic blocks are performed each year throughout the EU and US and current regional anaesthesia practice requires two operators. The SAFIRA system eliminates the need for a second operator and allows the anaesthetist to control the entire delivery of anaesthetic. The award will develop the current SAFIRA prototype in conjunction with development partner, 42 Technology, towards a first in man study.
New Anglia LEP’s contribution was provided through New Anglia Capital Ltd, a subsidiary for the purposes of building an angel investor network in Norfolk & Suffolk, with a view to providing equity finance to early-stage and growth-potential companies in the two counties on a co-investment basis with angel investors.
Launched at the end of 2016, Medtech Accelerator is a joint venture between the NHS and regional business partners, including Health Enterprise East (HEE), New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) LEPs, and the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).
The aim of Medtech Accelerator is to provide funding for early stage development of innovations in medical technology and thereby ensure that the NHS and its patients can benefit from these innovations as quickly as possible. The funding will be used to develop prototype devices, support further technological development, prepare for CE-marking and conduct human study trials. This is the second successfully funded round of projects by Medtech Accelerator, following the inaugural launch of the first round of projects earlier this summer.