UK Lifescience Industry Edition 5

Page 1

Issue 5

United Kingdom


Advances in health technology

Working Together Academic Health Science Networks: What will they mean for industry?

Inside: Going global: Cracking global markets Enhancement: Making medicines better Future watch: Potential healthcare game changers Made in the UK: Keeping manufacturing at home Meeting the unmet: Responding to unmet clinical needs


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

A message from the chairman of Medilink UK

The Development of Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) Issue 5

2012 ISSUE 4

Issue 5 Medilink UK and the Association of British Healthcare 2012 ISSUE 4

Industries (ABHI) concordat has provided a unique Issue 5

opportunity to create cohesive guidance on working

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Jess Fisher Editor

Design for Life

Jess Fisher Editor

Brand-led design and marketing for Life Sciences • Branding • Graphic design • Web and digital design • Technical web development • Social media • Events 7 Schooner Way, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff CF10 4DZ • Publications Tel: 029 2047 3456 Web: The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinions of individual Medilink UK members unless explicitly stated. © MediWales Ltd.Atlantic 2012 7 Schooner Way, Wharf, Cardiff CF10 4DZ

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UK Lifescience Magazine

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinions of individual Medilink UK members unless explicitly stated. © MediWales Ltd. 2012

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engagement aspect of the AHSNs and urge consequat. Duis aute i veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip excommodo ea all to Lorem ipsum dolor sitDuis amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sedin dovoluptate eiusmod commodo consequat. aute irure dolor in reprehenderit velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat participate as much as possibleUtfor maximum gain. tempor ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. enim ad ipsum minim velit esseincididunt cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur orem dolorconsectetur adipisicing sit amet, veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt laboreutet dolore magna aliqua. U commodo consequat. auteUtirure in reprehenderit voluptate labore et dolore magnaDuis aliqua. enimdolor ad minim veniam, quisinnostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. ipsumDuis dolor exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex eaExcepteur commodoorem consequat. aute irure dolor in reprehenderit sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed tempor aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillumincididunt dolore eu ut Chairman, Medilink UKdo eiusmod fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur s laborenulla et dolore magna aliqua. Ut ad minim veniam, nostrud fugiat pariatur. Excepteur sintenim occaecat cupidatat nonquis proident, sunt in exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in

Tony Davis


Produced by MediWales for Medilink UK 7 Schooner Way, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff CF10 4DZ Designed by Teamworks Design & Marketing

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stated. ©Jess MediWales Ltd. 2012 Design & Marketing Editor: Fisher Designed by Teamworks Contact: Editor: Jess Fisher Contact: Advertising: Charlotte Tyson Editor: Jess Fisher Advertising: Charlotte Tyson

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United Kingdom United Kingdom


2012 ISSUE 4

Issue 5


A message from the editor

Working Together Academic Health Science Networks: What will they mean for industry?

This edition

Lorem shifts ipsum dolor sit amet, conCulture sectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad ullamcoin eu fugiat nulla pariatur. epteur sintGlobal Going The imminent Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) could be seen as just another network set up to ease the identification, uptake, and spread of innovation within the NHS.

Made in the UK

24 From technical textiles to medical marvels 24 Hands-on improvement 27 Lean machines boost sales

The distinct difference with AHSNs is that they are being instigated from the top down: for the first time CEOs within not only industry but the NHS and academia are leading the change.

13 UK goes nuts for Brazil 13 Monica’s monitor This approach represents a cultural shift within the NHS in England, recognising 14 Britain thrives in assisted industry asipsum naturaldolor partners to better the orem sit amet, consectetur adipisicingliving elit, sed do health and wealth of the UK. eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore14 magna aliqua. Ut Breathe easy The lead article briefly summarises AHSNs enim adon minim veniam, quisofnostrud laborispoints to 15 ullamco Bionic finger and focuses the development two of exercitation regional networks, seeking insight from nisi utthe aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in future better the leading industry partners - the Medilinks. reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur occaecat cupidatat proident, sunt in culpa qui officia Othersint British advancements innon healthcare are explored through themes of: deserunt mollit anim id estthe laborum.


Going global

Cracking the global

marketplace Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod Enhancement Making medicines tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim better veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea Future watch Potential healthcare commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate game changers velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur orem ipsum dolor Made in the UK Keeping manufacturing at home elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut sit amet, consectetur adipisicing 18 Coughing Responding to unmet laboreMeeting et dolorethe magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud up the goods 18 From daysDuis to weeks exercitation laboris nisineeds ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. unmetullamco clinical


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Jess Fisher


Future Watch 20 Digital diary aids care 21 Diabetes drug delivery discovery


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The views expressed in this publication do not Contact: necessarily represent the opinions of individual Editor: UK Jess Fisherunless explicitly stated. © Medilink members MediWales Ltd. 2012

Meeting the unmet

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28 Real-time diagnosis for cervical cancer 30 DNA to identify early signs of breast cancer 31 Centre calls for patient-specific medical projects 32 Well connected for wellbeing 33 It’s all in the hips 34 Stopping skin tear suffering 34 Raising the standard 35 World’s first artificial liver to replace animal testing

Monica Healthcare’s abdominal fetal ECG and uterine EMG monitor has cracked the global marketplace.

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9 UK Lifescience Industry Event Calendar View an interactive version of this edition at


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

Working Together

Working together ACADEMIC HEALTH SCIENCE NETWORKS – WHAT WILL THEY MEAN TO INDUSTRY? Jess Fisher summarises the purpose of the impending AHSNs and discusses more specific plans for the East Midlands and Yorkshire networks. Academic Health Science Networks will bring together the NHS, academia, industry and other major stakeholders to improve the identification, uptake and spread of innovation in the NHS in England. The networks represent a cultural shift in the NHS, recognising that service delivery can only be transformed through the rapid adoption of new technologies and that this requires the strategic participation of the UK life sciences business community. The life science business community welcomes this collaborative approach – a marked departure from the NHS’s stereotypical position of being a risk averse and slow adopter of innovation, more concerned with short term cost savings than investing to save.

Where have they come from? AHSNs have been initiated by the Department of Health – one of the key action points in its Innovation, Health and Wealth report to “ramp up the pace and scale of change” in the health service and drive growth in the wider economy.

The cultural shift may be slow, but as the spread of innovation, health and wealth develops in England, what does industry stand to gain?

The main thrust of AHSNs will be developing links across disciplines and establishments and engaging with industry in a way that has not taken place previously. There are six key functions of AHSNs set out in the guidance from the Department of Health, which are: Research participation Translating research and learning into practice Education and training Service improvement Information Wealth creation Industry’s involvement has a place in all 6 of these functions. Currently, 14 of the 15 initial AHSN proposals submitted in the summer have been approved for full business case development and some initial drafts have been made publically available for consultation. The deadline for full proposals is 24 January 2013, with the intention for the AHSN’s to go live from 1 April 2013.


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

NHS service providers

Higher Education

Other parties...



working together on innovation

Industry and pharma

NHS Commissioners

Community services Local government Governance and finance How the AHSNs will be funded and governed is yet to be finalised, however once designated, each AHSN will have a five-year license and work on a cost-per-patient model. Essentially the larger the geographic scope for the AHSN, the greater the population, and subsequently the funding received. Each AHSN will assign a corporate board to guide its structure and development.


At the NHS Confederation conference in September 2012, Sir Ian Carruthers said the AHSNs could receive tens of millions of pounds worth of funding from the NHS Commissioning Board.

UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

Many AHSNs may also develop their own commercial structures to enable a sustainable long-term model.

A network of networks The intention is that all NHS organisations should look to be affiliated to their local AHSN. In many cases, such as the East Midlands, the creation of the AHSN is being led by a hospital trust – this in itself sets a precedent for NHS engagement. Through a closer networking relationship between the NHS

and industry, the AHSN can then provide an easier route to assess, commercialise and adopt health technologies into the NHS at a much faster rate. The challenge is to successfully develop and exploit innovation at a greater speed and scale than has been seen previously, whilst also managing the issues over collaboration, governance, finance and competition.

Working Together

A regional perspective East Midlands AHSN For many AHSNs, regional Medilinks are taking an active role in business plan development. As advocates for the life science industry regionally, they can also leverage their collective national network – Medilink UK, the largest representative body for this industry sector.

Darren Clark, Medilink East Midlands’ Chief Executive discusses their involvement in the East Midlands AHSN: “The AHSNs appear to be the main way to achieve the DH’s innovation, health and wealth plans. This is a real stepchange for the NHS to focus on the wealth as well as the health agenda, however the networks’ name is a slight misnomer – they should probably be called Industry Health Science Networks to reflect the level of industry engagement.”

In the East Midlands the AHSN partners have decided to create a regional as opposed to a citybased approach due to the existing excellent networking and collaboration between several cities and towns in the area such as Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln, Northampton, and Leicester. “Each AHSN will have its own areas of strength – the idea is that best practice will be shared on successful projects, technologies

Yorkshire AHSN and procedures by those that lead in a field to avoid unnecessary duplication and spread the best innovations and services across the NHS UK-wide.” “In East Midlands one of the areas of focus will be on diabetes – it may be that East Midlands AHSN will take a lead on that area across the AHSNs and share research, ideas and advancements with the others, for instance.” Nottingham University Hospitals Trust took the lead on the project and set up an executive group to put the proposal together. Medilink East Midlands was asked to develop the industry-NHS engagement areas and are holding a series of workshops to gather industry input.

“As partners on the development of the East Midlands AHSN, Medilink will provide good access for industry members to the NHS – something that companies continually struggle to attain,” said Darren. “For this to work effectively, Medilink would like to see standardised processes, agreed messages and objectives between all partners, and economic impact measures put in place as targets.”

Similarly in Yorkshire, Medilink has been asked to contribute to the industry-NHS engagement planning for the AHSN.

Medilink Yorkshire and Humber’s Managing Director Kevin Kiely discusses his views on the Yorkshire AHSN: “One of the biggest issues facing the UK life science industry continues to be the slow and fragmented adoption of new innovations, leading to poor returns on innovation investment and an increasingly risk averse investment community for life science projects. “It has been recognised for over a decade and referenced in a number of reports that the NHS, as the largest health delivery agency in the world, could, if managed correctly, become a significant driver for economic growth. “The AHSNs commit NHS organisations at a strategic level to the identification, uptake, and spread of new innovations into the NHS, whereas previous adoption initiatives were tangential to the people that would make this happen.”


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

When asked what success will look like, Kevin commented:

“For the AHSNs to succeed there needs to be a two-way cultural shift where both industry and the NHS have mutual respect for each other’s skills and resources and where businesses are seen as natural partners in translating research and new technology into workable commercial solutions for improving healthcare delivery.” “The successful output from these new networks will be a measurable improvement in healthcare delivery against priority targets set by each AHSN. For instance reduction in obesity levels, or reduced social inequality evidenced by morbidity rates, and a resultant increase in wealth, measured by increased jobs, new intellectual property or new spin out companies.”

The AHSNs will become a key component of the new innovation landscape dovetailing with the new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), both to take effect on 1 April 2013. For instance, the CCGs are likely to take responsibility for the Small Business Research Initiatives (SBRI), with the operational component being cascaded down to, and informed by AHSNs, which would be in the best position to identify and prioritise areas of unmet needs.


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

The AHSNs will also work closely with NIHR’s new Health Technology Cooperatives (HTCs) to be launched in January 2013 – the HTCs being based around major areas of unmet clinical needs, providing a vital NHS/ patient pull for new technological inspired solutions. The question was posed to Kevin, ‘why will AHSNs work, when so many initiatives have been started up and haven’t achieved tangible impact?’

“Each AHSN will be charged with the responsibility to rapidly adopt new technological solutions to improve patient care and prevent the incidence of disease. This has the top down strategic commitment from NHS CEOs – it is not a peripheral activity but one which NHS Trusts will be held to account. The strategic link between health and wealth is particularly encouraging in respect to private sector engagement.”

Feedback from Medilink UK and ABHI points out the pitfalls to be avoided, and success measures to be implemented, when developing the AHSNs:

l At a national level, an immense amount has been learned about evaluation, so reinventing the wheel locally must be avoided and instead a ‘do once and learn’ attitude adopted l Avoid bringing industry in only at the commercialisation stage of projects. The NHS needs incentives to ensure interaction. For instance, funding could be linked to consistent measurement of AHSN collaboration results l Need to work with industry on providing evidence on efficacy, efficiency and cost effectiveness of innovative technologies and services, which in turn will promote wide scale NHS recognition of this evidence and ultimately stimulate adoption l Need to measure the economic impact – the regional picture in the context of the big, national picture l Metrics on companies supported, manufacturing capacity and supply chain details must be recorded to show impact l Need industry inclusion in design, governance and delivery of projects targeted at industry; ensuring they are fit for purpose and in a language industry understands and can respond to

Event Calendar

December 5th:

Medilink North West: Ask the Expert, Stockport


Medilink East Midlands: Asia Pacific Lifescience Clinics, Nottingham


Medilink West Midlands: Christmas Networking, Birmingham


HealthTech and Medicines KTN: Imaging as an enabling technology to advance stratified medicine, London


UK HealthTech Conference, Cardiff, UK


MediWales Annual Innovation Awards Dinner, Cardiff, UK


Genesis, London

January 16th-17th HealthTech and Medicines KTN: Biomarkers Summit – Innovations in Stratified Medicine, London 18th-19th: IBHI Indo-UK Diabetes Summit, India 22nd:

HealthTech & Medicines KTN: UK Strength & Opportunities in the Assistive Living Market Regional profiles for East Midland, West Midlands & Wales; Birmingham


Digital Marketing to Grow your Medical Business, Medical Technologies Innovation Centre, Birmingham


Medilink East Midlands: Stratified Medicine, Leicester

28th-31st: Arab Health, Dubai (Welsh Government Mission) 30th:

Medilink West Midlands: Selling Assistive Technologies to the Private Sector, Chester

UK Lifescience Industry

Event Calendar 2012-2013



February 6th – 7th:

Informa Life Sciences “The Medical Device Directives and The Revision”, Belgium


Medilink East Midlands: Exploiting Intellectual Property in Healthcare


Life Sciences Scotland: Scottish Enterprise Life Sciences Annual Dinner and Awards 2013, Edinburgh


Medilink East Midlands: East Midlands Infectious Disease Research Network


HealthTech and Medicines KTN: Assisted Living Innovation Platform Showcase, Liverpool


Innovate UK, London


NHS Innovation Expo


BioWales 2013, Cardiff, Wales


RehabTech Asia, Singapore


Pittcon, Philadelphia, USA.


NHS Productivity: Transforming Healthcare, Harrogate

30th-1st April Nanotech, Tokyo, Japan

April 4th-7th:

May Expomed Istanbul, Turkey

10th-11th: MedTech Innovation Expo 2013, Coventry 16th-17th: In4matics Healthcare and Informatics Expo, Birmingham 22nd-25th: BIO International Convention, Chicago, USA


Medtec UK, London


Wellcome Trust Health Innovation Challenge Fund (round 8), funding deadline

13th-15th: eHealth Week, Dublin, Ireland 13th-16th: ACHEMASIA 2013, Beijing, Asia 14th-15th: NICE Annual Conference 2013, Birmingham 21st-24th: Hospitalar 2013, Sao Paulo, Brazil 29th-30th BioDundee International Conference


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine Magazine UK Lifescience

INNOVATION IS The UK’s Commitment to Life Sciences The emergence of new models of care, disruptive technologies, information and health management systems, and new medical practices puts the Healthcare and Life Science industry at the epicentre of global change – economic, political, technological and commercial. In developing the UK Life Science Sector, the UK Government has introduced new initiatives that span the sector and aim to make the UK the best possible environment to conduct research, develop new products, and launch them into a responsive healthcare market.


UK Lifescience Magazine

The UK has five critical capabilities that support the translation of ideas from the bench to products and services at the bedside

1. A vibrant basic

research environment

2. Commitment to partnership between academia, clinicians, the National Health Service, and industry 3. An environment where

both the public and private sector share risk to invest in innovation

4. A complete ecosystem where you can work with all stakeholders, including: academia, emerging SMEs, companies providing contract research, manufacturing and IT infrastructure, and social media platforms 5. An open and reactive

We have made it easier to discover, develop and deliver healthcare innovation in the UK RING-FENCED BASIC RESEARCH BUDGET - The UK has protected the UK’s science budget and is committed to supporting core science funding. The UK is also making major investments in genomics, informatics, and synthetic biology. INVESTMENT IN HEALTH RESEARCH – The UK is expanding the number of biomedical research centres and units in the UK, with an additional investment of £800 million over the next five years. PATENT BOX - From April 2013, corporation tax on profits from patents will be reduced to 10%, and will apply to net income on patents first commercialised after 29 November 2010.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION - The UK has now implemented new cost-effective ways of protecting intellectual property through the County Courts. INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT - The UK spends circa £1 billion annually on the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) infrastructure, supporting experimental medicine research and clinical trials. NIHR OFFICE FOR CLINICAL RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE (NOCRI) – NOCRI facilitates industry access to the UK’s clinical research infrastructure, from early-stage collaborative research through to contract clinical trials.

THE UK BIOBANK - The UK Biobank is a major national health research resource, linking detailed information and samples from 500,000 people.

Opening access to data, leveraging the power of the National Health Service The UK is committed to making every patient a research patient. The National Health Service (NHS) is a powerful partner helping health and outcomes research, to better understand the patient journey. CLINICAL PRACTICE RESEARCH DATALINK (CRPD): The Clinical Practice Research Datalink is a new, secure service linking primary and secondary care data for more than 53 million patients. CPRD supports research, clinical trials feasibility and protocol optimisation, and provides information on patient outcomes. ACCESSING NATIONAL DATA SETS: In addition to CPRD, access is also available to Scottish and Welsh eHealth record systems, allowing you to access a breadth of patient data and real-world insight.

HEALTH EPISODE STATISTICS (HES): HES is the national statistical data warehouse recording care provided by England’s NHS hospitals and for NHS hospital patients treated elsewhere. It contains admitted patient care data from 1989 onwards, with more than 12 million new records added each year. NHS INFORMATION CENTRE: England's central, authoritative source of health and social care information for frontline decision makers.

healthcare system and regulatory framework



UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK companies export and expand into new markets, and supports overseas businesses to invest successfully into the UK. UKTI combines the expertise of professional trade and industry advisers in the UK alongside a global network of experts based in British diplomatic offices overseas, giving you access to a well-connected presence on the ground at home and in the UK. Our practical help and advice is free and confidential. UK Lifescience Magazine

For more information, please contact

Going Global



UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

Going Global

UK goes nuts for Brazil During Hospitalar 2011, Abimo, the Brazilian Healthcare Trade Association, and Medilink UK, Britain’s leading healthcare organisation, signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a partnership in trade, technology, and R&D. A year later these two healthcare organisations met again at Hospitalar (22-25 May) to discuss joint venture opportunities with British and Brazilian companies. 12 UK companies attended the mission to meet with companies, distributors, and visit two of the biggest hospitals in Brazil – Sirio Libanes and Sao Paulo Hospital where they discussed the potential for UK healthcare products to be integrated into the Brazilian healthcare system.

Concluding the meeting, John Doddrell, the British Consul General in Sao Paulo and Director of UKTI in Brazil commented: “I am delighted that the relationship between UKTI, Medilink and ABIMO has been further strengthened. There is a clear commitment from all parties to facilitate business match making opportunities and encourage partnership as much as possible. This will undoubtedly benefit companies from both countries, as well stimulating growth in the sector, and most importantly, make a tangible difference to the clinical needs of patients.”

For information regarding UK missions visit

Monica’s monitor Monica Healthcare, manufacturer of the first abdominal fetal ECG and uterine EMG (electromyography) monitor, the Monica AN24, has cracked the global marketplace. Since April 2012, Monica Healthcare has signed exclusive distribution agreements with Japanese and Brazilian companies and has successfully sold the device to a hospital in Texas, USA.

The pilot is implementing six AN24s in all six of the chosen maternity units to monitor high risk pregnancies identified by the ‘Mae Curitibana’ (Curitiban Mother) program. The maternity units, part of the Brazilian public health system SUS, are also linked to the local medical schools, allowing the project to be supported by university professors. Visit for more information

The CE marked, FDA cleared Monica AN24 accurately monitors fetal heart rate, maternal heart rate, uterine activity and maternal activity, offering an alternative wireless ambulatory monitoring solution for induction, obesity, labour and delivery. Submission to PMDA for Japanese approval has been made this year to catalyse sales. Key university hospitals in Japan are already using Monica for research and have expressed their confidence and support in the Monica AN24 for improving the quality of care provided to Japanese women. James Bushby, sales manager from Monica Healthcare commented, “Successful entry into the Japanese market is of the highest importance for Monica, as it represents the world’s second largest healthcare market, just behind the USA. Our partnership with Toitu, the premier supplier of fetal monitors in Japan, is a significant indication of the success that we are expecting.” The Brazilian distribution agreement with Michaelis and Petrelli, assisted through negotiations by Advanced Global Health, has led to a large pilot study in Curitiba, Brazil.

Monica Healthcare’s Monica AN24 device


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

Britain thrives in assisted living 45 British companies exhibited at REHACARE this year in Dusseldorf, Germany, showcasing their technologies and services for people with disabilities, complex care requirements, and chronic conditions.

Their system uses new load compensation techniques to give superior chair control on difficult surfaces allowing easier turning on thick carpets, and greater hold and stability on sloping surfaces. Visit for more information on trade missions

The trade fair attracted more than 50,000 visitors across four days, ranging from distributors to endusers.

Charlotte Walshe, CEO of Dynamic Controls, said: “The exhibition has enabled us to engage with people from right across the globe – including the end-users themselves. Our aim is to enable users to play a full and active part in society, so we’re delighted that our groundbreaking technology has been so well received.”

The UK pavilion – supported by UK Trade and Investment and Medilink UK – hosted 17 of the British companies. With business leads in excess of £1 million, Britain’s reputation in assisted living is clear. One exhibiting company, Dynamic Controls, successfully launched its LiNX power wheelchair control system at the exhibition.

Breathe easy Vectura, a specialist in respiratory drugs, is launching their Seebri Breezhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) sufferers in several markets. Just days after the drug was endorsed in Japan, the European Commission has approved Seebri (glycopyrronium bromide) - a once-daily inhaled maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adults with COPD, better known as ‘smokers’ lungs’. Ageing, urbanised populations with a legacy of smoking suffer chronic conditions, such as asthma and emphysema, which require endless prescriptions. A once-daily inhaler will improve the quality of life for thousands of COPD sufferers, aiding the reduction of breathlessness and exacerbations and improving lung function.


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

British Consul General for Dusseldorf meets with British company Tomcat

British Consul General for Dusseldorf meets with Yorkshire-based Platinum Stairlifts

Dr Chris Blackwell, Chief Executive of Vectura, commented: “The approval of this drug is a landmark and valueenhancing event for Vectura, who along with its partner, Sosei, developed the drug to a Phase II proof-of-concept before licensing it to Novartis. This approval will trigger a $10 million milestone to Vectura, along with subsequent royalty streams.”

The European approval is based on data from the Phase III GLOW trials, which demonstrated the safety and efficacy of glycopyrronium 44 mcg (the Japanese endorsement is for 50mcg) and involved 1,996 COPD patients who required maintenance treatment.

The studies showed that when compared to placebo, Seebri significantly improved lung function over the first four hours after morning dosing and that this benefit was sustained for 24 hours over a 52-week period. Vectura signed a £200 million partnership to develop the product with Novartis in 2005. A second product, codenamed QVA149, has delivered promising trial results and is likely to be filed with regulators next year. It has potential to work with Seebri as a useful combination therapy.

Vectura’s manufacturing of clinical trial batches

For more information visit

Going Global

Bionic finger points to better future Available worldwide, Touch Bionics’ new i-limb digits and wristband give greater dexterity to more people with missing fingers than ever before. Touch Bionics was the first company to develop a prosthetic finger solution with articulating digits and since 2009 over 500 people have been fitted with their technology. An estimated 1.2 million amputees worldwide could now benefit from the new i-limb digit technology, helping a wider range of people with partial hand amputations.

“Before i-limb digits became available all Brazilian patients had to use passive or mechanical prosthetic solutions, but now they can benefit from the electronic articulating fingers invented by Touch Bionics. Our workshops are ready to provide information and training to all Brazilian patients and practitioners interested in Touch Bionics’ products,” said Jairo Blumenthal of Blumenthal Disitribuidora.

Touch Bionics’ i-limb digits

For more information visit

“The new finger development enables i-limb digits prostheses to be made smaller, lighter and more anatomically accurate, and are therefore suitable for a wider population, such as those with smaller hands, or whose amputations are closer to the base of the fingers,” said Ian Stevens, CEO, Touch Bionics. “The wristband unit provides the ability to build an i-limb digits prosthesis that has full wrist mobility and with easily interchangeable and rechargeable batteries.” “By using i-limb digits to increase their overall ability to complete daily tasks, we see that people experience an increase in selfconfidence and independence, and can benefit by being able to return to work or to their favourite pastimes and hobbies,” said Stevens. “Our goal as a company is to maximise the number of people that can experience these benefits, and the developments that we have announced today take us closer to that goal.” Earlier this year, Touch Bionics attended Brazil’s trade fair, Hospitalar, to showcase their new technology and meet with their distributor Blumenthal Disitribuidora.


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

Reform of the Medical Device Directives Enters European Parliament Following a lengthy consultation by the European Commission, the reform of the Medical Device Directives is set to enter the European Parliament, following the publication of the ‘Formal Proposal’ on the 27 September. This proposal sets out a number of changes to the system and will now move to the Parliament for MEPs to discuss. Whilst the revision of the Directives has been underway for a number of years, the current changes do come against a backdrop of high profile failings. The recent PIP scandal highlighted the need for industry, regulators and healthcare providers to work together and improve the system to ensure safe treatments for patients.

The Formal Proposal The proposal contains a number of changes to the system, which are largely supported by the medical technology industry. Key changes that will have an effect on the market are based around the following areas:

● Increased scrutiny of the market ● Reform of the notified body system ● Vigilance co-ordination ● Standards and guidelines ● Transparency ● Traceability and UDI ● Clinical data ● Governance ● Stakeholder involvement ● Reprocessing of single-use devices ● Economic operators

The planned changes are intended to make the system more consistent and transparent across Europe for patients and clinicians. These measures will address the recent criticisms of the regulatory regime and allow patients and clinicians access to medical devices performance data. Industry’s recommendations on how to improve the system informed ABHI’s submission to the Science and Technology Select Committee Inquiry on the regulation of medical implants. It sets out a vision for the future of medical device regulation and put forward a number of changes that are included in the European Commission proposal.

Industry Position Despite welcoming the majority of the proposal, industry has warned against certain aspects. Included in the proposal are measures to slow down the introduction of ‘novel devices’ by introducing a mechanism that will require certain devices to be assessed by a panel of experts before they are released onto the market. ABHI is opposed to this measure as it does not have a clear benefit for patients and will only serve to slow down the introduction of potentially life saving technologies. This measure will also be unnecessary if the current system is implemented more consistently and competent authorities’ performance is closely monitored. ABHI will be working with other European associations to reform this measure.


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www. ab hi . org .u k

UK regulators The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has welcomed the formal proposal and supports the recommendations put forward. They also oppose the establishment of a new body charged with checking novel devices. Crucially for the medical technology industry, the UK Parliament’s influential Science and Technology Select Committee recently completed their report on the regulation of medical implants. The report acknowledged that the fundamental principles of the European system of medical device regulation are sound and there is no benefit in moving to pre-market approval or an FDA type system. ABHI chief executive, Peter Ellingworth, and executive director of technical and regulatory policy, Mike Kreuzer, appeared before the committee in June of this year to outline industry’s vision for the future of medical device regulation. The Committee published their report earlier this month where they supported many of the recommendations put forward by industry. This endorsement from the Committee is crucial for the UK Government as they negotiate the changes that will take place. This report gives Earl Howe, UK Health Minister, a clear mandate for negotiations on the directives.

The Future? Even with the formal proposal, the process of reforming the system is by no means complete. There are individuals in European Parliament that believe the system needs to go beyond what is in the proposal. ABHI will work with MEPs and policy makers to help deliver a system of regulation that delivers modern, safe and effective treatments to patients.

Association of British Healthcare Industries 250 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8RD T (020) 7960 4360 E


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Coughing up the goods New consumer healthcare company infirstHEALTHCARE is enhancing existing medicines, focusing on the most prevalent health conditions that need better cures. “Our aim is to look at existing medicines and actives and make them better,” explains infirst CEO Manfred Scheske, who was previously President of GlaxoSmithKline’s $3 billion European consumer healthcare business. “The over-the-counter market is now worth around $90billion worldwide and yet there has been very little innovation to improve products that are already available.” The first product is a cocoaflavoured medicine for the treatment of cough and cold - one of the largest segments of the global over-the-counter market. Cough affects over 800 million patients worldwide, with an estimated 12% of the general population (7.5 million in the UK), experiencing the symptoms regularly.


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Expected to be available for the winter flu season in late 2013, this medicine is to be an effective, nonnarcotic, non-opioid treatment of cough. Next in line is an ibuprofen-based, omega lipids infused product for the treatment of inflammatory pain. This drug is expected to deliver much better pain relief for these specific conditions than existing products. “We talked to many healthcare practitioners who confirmed the need for new, improved options for the treatment of cough and pain that are safe and cost-effective”, explains Manfred Scheske. “Feedback from consumer research has also overwhelmingly confirmed the need for new products that have natural ingredients, such as cocoa, that can be combined with existing safe medicines to deliver an enhanced outcome for the patient.” infirstHEALTHCARE currently has a license agreement with a key strategic partner in the US. For more information contact Manfred Scheske, infirstHEALTHCARE Tel: +44 (0)207 1536570

Novozymes Biopharma’s image illustrating albumin technology

From days to weeks Biotech company Novozymes Biopharma has launched a technology that could reduce drug dosing frequencies from days to weeks. Patient hospitalisation for people that have forgotten to take their medicine is costing the US healthcare system an estimated US$300 billion in avoidable medical spending annually. Reducing the frequency of drug administration could improve


patients’ quality of life and significantly reduce healthcare costs globally. Novozymes Biopharma’s technology gives pharma companies greater flexibility in defining the amount of time a drug stays active and effective in a patient’s body. “Albufuse® Flex and Recombumin® Flex represent a simple and cost-effective platform for the production of proteins with extended circulatory half-life. The platform offers pharmaceutical companies the potential to enhance patient quality of life and meet specific medical needs,” says Dr. Dave Mead,

Business Development Director at Novozymes Biopharma. Half-life refers to the duration a drug remains active in the body and Novozymes’ technology extends certain drugs’ duration significantly. It is the only half-life extension platform that has been developed using an abundant protein already present in the human body, offering a natural, low-cost and safe molecule. Since the technology was patented and introduced to the market, Novozymes has successfully partnered with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and TEVA Pharmaceuticals who have Novozymes’ albumin technology-enabled protein drugs

Novozymes Biopharma’s Recombumin®

in pivotal Phase III clinical studies, which are expected to be complete by next year.

For more information visit


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Digital diary aids care A user-driven touch screen electronic device, UroDiary®, is set to better the diagnosis and treatment of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS). LUTS refers to a range of urinary problems that can significantly impair the quality of life for sufferers. Effective treatment requires clinical evidence on frequency of urine volumes passed and urgency, which is typically recorded using paper diaries. Use of such diaries is infrequent outside specialist services due to limited experience in primary care and the difficulty of interpreting the raw, variable data. A potential solution to these problems, UroDiary® is being developed and trialled by ELAROS 24/7 Ltd (Electronic LUTS And Remote Observation Service), using funding awarded to Devices for Dignity (D4D), Medical Devices Technology International (MDTi), Medipex and RTC North through the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPRSC).


Informed by NICE guidelines on the identification and management of LUTS, UroDiary® is used by the patient to record times, volumes passed, and the desire to urinate. Once recorded, data is downloaded to the GP’s computer system for data visualisation, interpretation and patient management.

UroDiary® prototype

UroDiary® is portable, more discrete than writing in a diary, and makes data easily traceable and transferable between healthcare providers. Simple data capture, analysis and quicker diagnosis will potentially save the NHS £66 million through reduction in referrals to secondary care and diagnostic costs.


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Contact Medical Devices Technology International:

Contact Devices for Dignity:

Future watch

Diabetes drug delivery discovery A circuitless artificial pancreas could herald the end of multiple insulin injections for type 1 diabetes sufferers. Renfrew Group International (RGi) and professors from De Montfort University are collaborating to develop an artificial pancreas - an implantable device that uses a novel polymeric gel to automatically control the delivery of insulin into the peritoneum. Type 1 diabetes sufferers using current treatment methods are at risk of over or under medicating. An automatic internal regulator could put an end to hourly monitoring of blood glucose levels, giving greater quality of life to millions. Funding is required to complete this device’s study and to undertake pre-clinical trials tests, which would catalyse the development of an advanced first-generation artificial pancreas.

Professor Taylor from De Montfort University commented: “We have reached a critical point in the development of a fully implantable device, which is one of the essential requirements for the success of an artificial pancreas and could ultimately improve lives immeasurably for diabetics worldwide.”

Implantable artificial pancreas prototype Visit for more information


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Knowledge Transfer Network HealthTech and Medicines

Building a Healthy Nation through Business Innovation

Members of HealthTech and Medicines KTN get an Innovation Boost The HealthTech and Medicines KTN supports business innovation through partnerships, funding and knowledge transfer: Innovation depends on an intimate knowledge of technology and close relationships with subject experts on one hand, and a breadth of contacts and an overview of the supply chain on the other. The HealthTech and Medicines Knowledge Transfer Network is a single front door through which members can find all the expertise and support they need across the innovation chain, from first idea to patenting and packaging intellectual property, finding academic and industrial partners for product development and manufacturing scale-up, meeting regulatory standards, and getting access to market.

HealthTech Connecting and Medicines Partners Bringing together and


Access to Funding Identify and influence new and existing sources of funding

The HealthTech and Medicines KTN also helps members to access funding from the Technology Strategy Board for prototype development and proof of concept work.

facilitating collaborations with a common goal

Knowledge Transfer Opening Doors to wider networks of people/ organisations

value chains and suggesting possible collaborations and partnerships. Membership of the KTN provides access to a dynamic, UK-wide knowledge transfer network covering all aspects of medical devices, It is also involved in developing international networks, supporting business engagement in the US, China, Japan and Europe. Connecting HealthTech diagnostics, and medicines. In addition, the KTN works with these Partners and Medicines communities, actively promoting sharing of knowledge, building The KTN has set up specialist groups in areas including Advanced Bringing together and

facilitating collaborations KTN Wound Management, Assisted Living, Clinical Trials, Regenerative with a common goal

Membership of the KTN provides access to: l Potential practitioner network into industry and industry friendly academia

Identify and influence Transfer new and existing Opening Doors to leaders, these specialist groups bring researchers, Led by key opinion sources of wider networks of funding entrepreneurs, companies, clinical and regulatory experts together Connecting people/

l Technology Strategy Board, National and EU funding competitions l Impartial advice and access to the full KTN team l Key individuals within the community – putting you in touch with the right partners for forming collaborations l Networking opportunities and events

Medicines, Healthcare-Associated Infections and Stratified Medicines Access to to help companies home in on the particular resources they need to Funding addressKnowledge any of these areas.



organisations and Medicines to identify opportunities, flag up potential roadblocks and Bringing together and foster collaborations KTN facilitating new partnerships. Backing up these meetings, the KTN’s with a common goal innovation platform features online tools that enable partners to explore projects Access to Knowledge Funding and issues they are working on together. Identify and influence new and existing


Opening Doors to sources ofwithwider For more information and how to engage thenetworks HealthTech and of funding people/ Medicines KTN community visit: organisations

Benefits of Membership By joining the Health KTN, members can connect with others in the industry, enhance career prospects and broaden their networks as well as being kept informed with newsletters and events updates. Information on all of our ‘Priority Areas’ and ‘Groups’ can now be found on the portal. We encourage new members to join our priority areas and groups to seek new business and research partners both online and in ‘real-time’ at our events and the KTN team is available to support as appropriate.

Knowledge Transfer Network HealthTech and Medicines You can contact the Health KTN by email:

Assisted Living UK Capabilities and Opportunity Report and Website The application of technology to facilitate the delivery of health and social care has developed rapidly in the past 15 years and in Assisted Living a portfolio of products and services are now available to be prescribed for a patient by the statutory services or available to be selected by them. The ALIP programme has commissioned a report of the Assisted Living UK capabilities and opportunities which forms a ‘virtual catalogue’ of such products and services currently in existence. The virtual catalogue contains all the examples of assistive technology, telecare, telemedicine, telehealth, telehealthcare, e-health and m-health developed to date.

This report is designed to stimulate and support the development and uptake of assisted living products and services by reporting on existing care needs and provision, identifying existing assisted living activity and suppliers and identifying sources of expertise. The analysis of the data then provides an initial guide for those in the public sector who are tasked with introducing assisted living services in their region and for organisations in the voluntary and private sectors who feel there is an opportunity to develop assisted living products and services.

Technology Strategy Board Driving Innovation

Made in the UK KEEPING MANUFACTURING AT HOME From technical textiles to medical marvels Nottingham technical textiles company Capatex Ltd is predicting a 15% increase in turnover resulting from expansion into the healthcare market. Aided by a £14,000 innovation grant part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Capatex researched alternative markets for its manufacturing facilities and saw potential in the medical market. Capatex Medical has since been launched, with the grant also being used to establish a quality management system and CE marks for the new Capatex Medical lines.

Capatex’s Managing Director Gabriel Strauss commented: “We are determined to keep manufacturing here in Nottingham and use the local supply chain, and the support from Medilink has been invaluable. All our medical incontinence underwear range is made in the city using fabrics sourced locally. We now intend to expand the business by introducing new products, and with the continued guidance from Medilink, expect to be drawing on further local university research and innovation to do this.”

The birth of Capatex Medical is welcome news for Nottingham, helping return the city to a centre of manufacturing excellence whilst providing employment for an estimated 17 people at its New Basford facility. Adding to its established agriculture, horticulture, landscaping, military, automotive and industrial lines, Capatex now supplies branded medical devices and continence products to the NHS, distributors, retail, care homes and by mail order direct to users. Innovation in product design has been key to Capatex Medical’s early success, enabled by the close relationships developed with researchers at De Montfort University to expand the medical range.


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Gabriel Strauss, Managing Director, Capatex with product

Visit for more information

Hands-on improvement With nearly 30 years’ experience, Corin Group – an expert in orthopaedic implant technology – continues to manufacture its products in the UK. Having direct operations in five global orthopaedic markets and distribution arrangements in over 30 countries, Corin uses research, continuous improvement programmes, and a commitment to responsible innovation to keep ahead.

Research Having developed a worldwide network of research associations with leading universities, research institutes and industrial partners, Corin is able to access expert advice and equipment. For instance, Corin can test the safety and efficacy of all its prostheses with advanced computer simulation technologies utilised to model and predict the lifecycle of prostheses. Kinematic analysis and mechanical simulations are also used to replicate patients’ behaviour and ensure that product performance is optimised over the life of the implant. Research into new materials allows Corin to offer world’s first implant technologies designed to enhance longevity and performance. In 2011, Corin set up an internal test laboratory to allow better understanding of implant testing, which gained UKAS accreditation. Much research focuses on improving quality of life in a society

Made in the UK

of increasingly active arthritic patients – minimising wear, addressing aseptic loosening, and reducing stress shielding that causes bone loss around implants. Corin has successfully gained external grant funding from the Technology Strategy Board, NIHR i4i and EU funding, proposing projects to improve implant design, patient matched instrumentation for knee surgery, advanced CT designed implants (TriFit TS™ and MiniHip™) and the Unity Knee™.

Continuous improvement

systems have been implemented in a central area in order to add value to the operator experience, increase recognition levels and promote improvement discussions. The scheme has been so successful that Corin recently hosted a ‘Member Connect’ event through EEF – the manufacturers’ organisation for UK manufacturing companies. This provided a great opportunity for companies to learn

and obtain ideas to develop their own schemes.

Visit for more information

Since implementing their continuous improvement scheme in 2009, the generation and completion of ideas is encouraged and over 400 improvement ideas have been raised by employees, with just under 75 per cent of these being implemented. An ideas board was developed and has been rolled out across the whole operational site, allowing improvement ideas to be managed internally by operators. A database system was implemented to log, amend and sign off ideas, alongside the enablement of various reporting features for management information. A combination of display boards, presentation and touch screen

Corin’s New Surgeon Resource Hub app for the ipad.


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Part-time postgraduate programmes

Cranfield Health offers part-time Executive MSc programmes ideally structured to enable professionals to remain in employment whilst studying to advance their career.

Programmes comprise eight taught modules, an integrating portfolio and a research project that can be based upon an issue relating to your workplace – a great benefit to you and your employer.

Each programme is delivered in partnership with a professional body and offers those working in the healthcare sector or related disciplines the opportunity to gain a formal qualification in recognition of their skills, expertise and knowledge.

Cranfield is a wholly postgraduate university located midway between Oxford and Cambridge, offering a mature and professional environment in which to advance your career.

Executive MSc Programmes: • Clinical Research Start date: January 2013 • Quality Management in Scientific Research and Development Multiple start dates throughout 2012/2013 • Medical Technology Regulatory Affairs Multiple start dates throughout 2012/2013

For even greater flexibility some modules are available to study as individual short courses. Specifically designed for professionals wishing to comfortably combine work and study, the programmes are delivered over three days per module – minimising time away from the workplace.

"Studying Clinical Research expanded my knowledge and I feel a lot more confident having a thorough understanding of the ethics, regulations and rules involved. This course was also extremely helpful with my job

Jess Pagan, and allowed me to apply what I learnt to a real world MSc Graduate situation.” 2012 E: T: +44 (0)1234 758008

Excellence in Device and Packaging Testing


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t +44 (0)8454 588924 f +44 (0)1303 813952 e Medical Engineering Technologies Ltd • Yew Tree Studios, Stone Street, Stanford North, Ashford, Kent TN25 6DH, UK

Made in the UK

Lean machines boost sales GE Healthcare continues to invest and manufacture from its Welsh site, supplying customers globally with high quality, customised and cost effective cell technology products. One device in particular is picking up worldwide recognition and business. Rick Dool, Global Consumables General Manager, explains why: “Our FTA data capture device enables the safe and simple collection of blood, urine or cheek cell samples for DNA analysis and doesn’t require the sample to be refrigerated, providing customers with added flexibility. This product is already being used by police forces and governments globally, and has been recognised as leading in genomics, forensics and human identification. FTA products are technically relatively simple: specially coated paper attached to card, which protects the exceptional properties of the paper and is then enclosed in a plastic device to allow safe handling and storage without contamination. It is the customisation for each client and the stability of the product at room temperature that makes it a unique product.

Barcode control methodology, similar to that used by supermarkets, is used and all the equipment is located within a controlled environment room, minimising DNA contamination. Striving to be more efficient than competitors, a series of calculations were carried out showing room for further efficiencies, reducing the number of operator manipulations required. Multiple sample production has been reduced from 2.5 hours to 20 minutes as a result. Constant improvements have reduced the time taken for GE Healthcare to process an order from 63 to 35 days, which translate at an estimated $1.4 million extra sales predicted for 2013. Visit for more information GE Healthcare’s FTA Paper enclosed in plastic storage device

Key to GE’s global success with this product was the quality of the market research, R&D, machinery, and the continuous improvement and efficiency procedures put in place. After the initial market research and R&D phase, GE invested money in the Cardiff facility, building one process, in-house, that can manufacture hundreds of different shapes and sizes to fit customers’ needs with each one having a unique printed design and logo.


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DNA to identify early signs of breast cancer A simple blood test may be a more accurate way to test for the early signs of breast cancer than using mammograms, say University of Leicester researchers. Leading the study to determine whether DNA in blood could show early signs of breast cancer, the researchers also hope to detect whether patients are likely to relapse and what drugs their particular type of tumour will respond to. This pioneering new clinical study, funded by Cancer Research UK in collaboration with the University of Leicester and Imperial College

Real-time diagnosis for cervical cancer Zilico, a diagnostics company spun out of Sheffield University, is developing a device to provide realtime results for women undergoing cervical cancer screening. Cervical cancer affects around 500,000 women worldwide each year and is responsible for 300,000 deaths. Under current screening practices in the UK, a woman will


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

London, is taking place in the UK’s largest breast screening clinic at Charing Cross Hospital, London. Researchers will take blood samples from women attending the clinic and compare the DNA in the blood of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer with those that do not have cancer to see what DNA markers are consistent.

“As things stand we aren‘t able to monitor breast cancer patients after they’ve had surgery and treatment - which is like treating diabetes but not measuring blood sugar levels. The new blood test could change that.“ Other projects are looking to see whether a blood test can detect early signs of other cancers such as bowel and lung.

Dr Jacqui Shaw, principal investigator from the University of Leicester, said: This exciting research means we could one day have a blood test that detects the very early signs of cancer meaning women could have an annual blood test rather than breast screening. This would remove any worry and anxiety for women who are called for further investigations after a mammogram only to find they don’t have cancer.

have a Pap smear or LBC test every three to five years. If the test is positive, she will be referred to a colposcopy clinic for a detailed cervical examination. The system consists of a portable hand-held device, a single use disposable sleeve and docking station. This system is safe, painless, and accurate. The technology used, called electrical impedance spectroscopy, can measure the resistivity of cells and so detects changes as cells progress from normal to precancerous and then to cancerous.

Zilico’s new device has two applications: the first is used within the referral population and could help reduce the number of biopsies taken. The second, which is under development, will be positioned as a screening device, helping reduce the subjectivity and time taken with current tests. The referral application completed a pivotal European trial of 400 women in 2011 across three hospitals in the UK and Ireland. The company has been disseminating these results at key scientific meetings across the world.

Meeting the unmet


Zilico’s ZedScan™I

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DNA to identify early signs of breast cancer A simple blood test may be a more accurate way to test for the early signs of breast cancer than using mammograms, claim University of Leicester researchers. Leading the study to determine whether DNA in blood could show early signs of breast cancer, the researchers also hope to

detect whether patients are likely to relapse and what drugs their particular type of tumour will respond to. This pioneering new clinical study, funded by Cancer Research UK in collaboration with the University of Leicester and Imperial College London, is taking place in the UK’s largest breast screening clinic at Charing Cross Hospital, London. Researchers will take blood samples from women attending the clinic and compare the DNA in the blood of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer with those that do not have cancer to see what DNA markers are consistent. Dr Jacqui Shaw, Principal Investigator from the University of Leicester, said: “This exciting research means we could one day have a blood test that detects the very early signs of cancer meaning women could have an annual blood test rather than breast screening. This would remove any worry and anxiety for women who are called for further investigations after a mammogram only to find they don’t have cancer. “As things stand we aren‘t able to monitor breast cancer patients after they’ve had surgery and treatment - which is like treating diabetes but not measuring blood sugar levels. The new blood test could change that.“ Other projects are looking to see whether a blood test can detect early signs of other cancers such as bowel and lung.

Contact the University of Leicester for more information:


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Meeting the unmet

Centre calls for patient-specific medical projects A world-renowned design and innovation consultancy and research centre can produce individualised medical products and is calling for companies to utilise their expertise. Their most recent project provides patients with more realistic and better fitting breast prostheses. It has been developed by the PatientSpecific Medical Design Centre in collaboration with clinicians at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, who identified the need. The technique produces breast patterns and tools, which construct a silicon breast prosthesis bespoke to each patient through the use of advanced digital design and manufacturing processes.

Where possible, prostheses are based on the remaining breast shape, restoring the missing breast weight to help prevent post mastectomy posture problems. Through a combination of design, advanced manufacturing technologies, and clinical knowledge, the centre tailors products to individual patients’ needs and provides a key link between medical practice and business. The partnership combines the medical and technical expertise of the National Centre for Product Design and Development Research (PDR) at Cardiff Metropolitan University and clinical partnerships such as the Centre for Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (CARTIS). For more information visit

Dr Peter Dorrington, Industry Lead at the Patient-Specific Design Centre, said: “The technology provides patients with a bespoke breast prosthesis, rather than having an off-the-shelf product. This could prove hugely important to post-mastectomy patients, particularly in terms of their overall well-being and confidence levels, which is a vital element of the recovery process. “This technique has also illustrated how computer-aided methods are able to offer a cost-effective alternative to the traditional labour-intensive techniques, by reducing the length of patient consultations, and number of patient visits, while also providing a more flexible and repeatable method of working.”


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Well connected for wellbeing Strategic Health Ltd has launched an e-health unit – Applied Wellbeing – to develop health and well-being applications, online resources and courses for individuals, groups and organisations. Led by Dr Tim Anstiss, the aim is to protect and improve people’s psychological wellbeing and resilience via a mixture of scientific and proven methods from clinical, health and positive psychology, coaching psychology, improvement science and motivational interviewing. “By helping people to improve their personal psychological health and well-being, we reduce the likelihood that they will become ill, whilst improving their quality of life and performance in different aspects of living,” explains Dr Anstiss. “In a world where long term conditions, including depression, are becoming more common, positive nonmedical approaches to well-being improvement have an increasingly important role to play. And the web is where many people will go for help in this area.”

Earlier this year, Dr Anstiss began responding to people’s questions about depression online as part of his work with Black Dog Tribe (a social website for people with mental health issues, set up by comedienne Ruby Wax) and became interested in how the internet and social media might be used to support more individuals and organisations. These experiences led Dr Anstiss to develop mi-wellbeing - a customisable, interactive, multimedia health and well-being portal that has been built in open-source software. The primary aim of mi-wellbeing is to guide people towards improved


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psychological health and well-being. Among several features, users of the product can create and update an online personal well-being plan and track changes in their wellbeing over time. mi-wellbeing was initially set up to help NHS Trusts (such as The West London Mental Healthcare Trust) offer quality controlled, accessible health information and exercises to their managers and staff, but has already proved useful in helping Macmillan Cancer Support run online well-being groups for people with cancer and cancer survivors. With the support of a South East Health Technologies Alliance (SEHTA) telecare grant, Dr Anstiss

has been able to develop miwellbeing further and is now seeking additional funding to support growth of the concept and business. He is planning to develop a range of customised versions for people with different health conditions, such as diabetes, chronic pain, depression and CHD, as well as for use in different settings, including schools and colleges, leisure centres and prisons. To find out more about mi-wellbeing visit:

Meeting the unmet

It’s all in the hips Joint replacement surgery is not a new phenomenon, however how it is performed – via an anterior or posterior approach – is a hot debate among surgeons.

Difference in surgical technique The traditional posterior approach to hip replacement surgery involves going through the back, splitting the buttock muscles and peeling back the hip muscles to access the joint. When surgeons employ the anterior approach, they enter the hip through the front part of the joint. “When we take the anterior approach, we don’t detach or remove any muscles,” says Mr Jamie Wootton BSc MB BS FRCS, consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in joint replacement and joint reconstruction at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in North Wales. “From a recovery standpoint, that means less pain and quicker return to function.” The anterior approach is minimally invasive because the procedure can be performed through a 10 centimeter or less incision. Without muscle disruption, patients can return to regular activity quicker.

Imaging technology

Patient and cost benefits

Using real-time X-ray guidance, the anterior approach allows surgeons to place the implant more precisely. It also aids the surgeon’s measurement of both sides of the leg, which if done inaccurately can lead to hip replacement failure. “With this equipment, you are watching the procedure on X-ray as you go in, so you can see where the implant is going and get it exactly where you want it,” says Mr Wootton. “This gives you better control of their leg length.”

Although extra training is required for surgeons to adopt the anterior approach, Mr Wootton hasn’t experienced any complications, nerve problems or dislocations from patients undergoing anterior hip replacements.

Why the procedure isn’t more widespread

“As patients find out more about the advantages associated with anterior hip replacements, they will demand that type of procedure and drive it forward”, says Mr Wootton.

The anterior approach is less invasive but it is also less known. “You have to be committed to doing some extra training to be able to perform it safely and consistently” says Mr Wootton. “The other issue is that you need to have a specialised operating table/extension to allow you to get to the hip from the front and manipulate the patient’s legs during the procedure. Historically, these support devices have been expensive, complex and cumbersome - which is why we have developed ‘FLOTE’ - our own low-cost, portable device to assist surgeons in adopting this technique.”

“We’ve experienced several whole days decrease in the length of stay, from 6.8 days to just over 2,” says Mr. Wootton. “All the way around, the short-term recovery has been quicker and there haven’t been any complications.”

More information about the technique and the FLOTE technology can be found via Francis Lamont Innovation Ltd,

Francis Lamont Innovation’s FLOTE device


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

Stopping skin tear suffering Skin tears are a common occurrence among the elderly but are relatively unheard of due to lack of research or any medical classification. Skin tears happen when elderly people with ‘thinning skin’ walk into unseen objects in the home, trip on the stairs or are moved too quickly and come in to contact with rough materials. The top layer of skin on the lower legs and forearms can be completely removed or flapped back. In 2008, entrepreneur Peter Thornton and GP Dr Jemima Stilgoe approached Dr Roy Powell, a researcher and statistician, with a solution to this clinically unmet need.

developed hard aramid fibre using a special construction method. Peter Thornton and his business partner Nick Pitts worked with Jan Prytherch, clinical manager – tissue viability at the Exeter Tissue Viability Clinic to develop the product and tested them in private evaluations in local care homes. There was found to be a 97% reduction in the normal number of skin tears. Working with investors Daniel Seale and Paul Austin and through grants from Biomedical iNets and the Devon & Cornwall Business Council for patenting work, Peter and Nick have the products listed on the NHS supply chain and are marketing the products through Dermatuff Ltd. The ‘STOPCUTS’ 16week randomised control trial will take place in approximately 30 care homes situated in Exeter, Exmouth, and North Devon. 90 residents will be randomly selected; half will wear the stockings and half will be the control group.

Their idea of armoured but comfortable and flexible protective stockings and sleeves will become the subject of a research trial with Dermatuff estimate Dr Powell’s team. circa three million Having been awarded skin tear accidents £250,000 by the National per year in the UK Institute for Health alone. Based on these Dermatuff stockings Research (NIHR) under its figures, Dermatuff’s Research for Patient Benefit stockings and sleeves could save Scheme, the trial will start in the NHS £1 billion per annum. January 2013. Thinning skin is not classified as a medical condition because it is not seen as such in its own right. It is primarily due to ageing, with all people over 60 suffering gradual deterioration. It’s made worse if the sufferer takes steroids, is a smoker, or has experienced excessive exposure to the sun. The proposed solution is impact and abrasion resistant stockings and sleeves made from a specially


UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

View Dermatuff’s products at

Raising the standard Years Ahead Partnership and Newcastle University, through its Changing Age Initiative, have produced a publication of their feasibility study, ‘Raising the Standard’, aimed at establishing a trusted product rating or approval scheme for independent living and mobility products. The initiative, which aims to increase awareness and confidence amongst consumers, is being undertaken through Years Ahead’s not-for-profit Better Living Trust. A recent study of the mobility market by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) concludes that unfair sales practices
exist and consumers do not shop around, often basing their purchase decisions on very limited information. Dr Maggie Winchcombe OBE, a leading occupational therapist and a founder of Years Ahead, commented: “This report is a timely and important contribution to the development of the emerging Assistive Technology market.” Partners are seeking funding and support to move to the next phase, which will look at the design and operation of the rating scheme.

To discuss the opportunity to support or invest in the scheme, please email or visit

The research facilitation service for Wales

Health Research Wales

Health Research Wales has been established to facilitate the effective set-up, management and delivery of commercial clinical research in Wales. Health Research Wales supports the development of productive relationships between commercial companies, Universities and the NHS demonstrating that Wales is a great place to do research.

What can Health Research Wales do for you? • Provide a single communication route for Industry • Offer support and guidance through the research process PHOTO BY COLIN HATTERSLEY

World’s first artificial liver to replace animal testing A Heriot-Watt University project may drastically reduce animal testing with the development of an artificial human liver for drug testing. Led by Dr Will Shu, and working closely with stem cell technology company Roslin Cellab, the £100,000 project, funded by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) INSPIRE programme, aims to speed up the delivery of life-saving medicines to patients. The project’s objective is to demonstrate how an artificial liver, created using human cells, could become a new testing platform for drug discovery and development. The team is working towards creating miniature human liver tissues and, eventually, ‘livers-on-a-chip’, using novel technology that will ‘print’ the cells in 3D onto testing surfaces. Dr Will Shu said, “If we are able to advance this technique, the medical benefits could be enormous.” Animal testing is expensive, time-consuming and drugs that pass animal testing often fail in the expensive in-human stages of clinical trials. “If successful, this technology will enable drug developers to test using human organ models at a much earlier stage,” Dr Jason King of Roslin Cellab commented. “It should highlight drug failures well before they reach the clinic and help target resources towards the most promising new drug candidates.”

• Signpost to additional support and funding opportunities • Facilitate quick and easy site identification including support in feasibility assessment • Support the set up, management and delivery of commercial studies in the NHS

Health Research Wales will be formally launched in March 2013 Tel: +44 (0) 2920 196 816 Email:

BioWales Wa l e s , Li fe S c i e n ce a n d t h e Wo r l d


19th & 20th March 2013 Conference & Exhibition Cardiff, Wales UK Register your interest:

Projects such as Dr Shu’s are gaining international interest because the 3D cells they use outperform cells grown in 2D cultures – the standard in the drug development sector. For more information visit


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UK Lifescience Industry Magazine

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