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Case Study - Delivering the Lifescience Launchpad

29 June 2015

A cohort of nine Northwest SMEs, including seven based within the footprint of GM AHSN, have taken part in a unique programme to help them understand more about commercialising their health-related products and services.

The ‘Lifescience Launchpad’ was organised by Bionow, as part of Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network’s business engagement programme.

Topics covered included market research and commercial analysis, health economics, developing products to meet specific unmet needs, NHS procurement and how to sell to the NHS, regulatory IP and translational requirements, clinical trials and evaluation, grant and seed funding and action planning.

 “GM AHSN has a specific focus on helping SMEs to develop their products and to support the spread of innovation at scale within the NHS. The Bionow Lifescience Launchpad is one of a number of support initiatives we are bringing to Greater Manchester SMEs.”

Dr Linda Magee, Executive Director of Industry and Wealth at GM AHSN

Bionow recruited nine companies, who are already developing products and services of direct relevance to the NHS, to take part in the programme:

Blueberry Therapeutics is a modern, innovation driven, drug discovery and development company committed to the development of innovative therapies to treat diseases where infection and/or inflammation are major factors. Blueberry employs cutting-edge nanopolymer drug delivery technology, which enables them to exploit both small molecule and biologic approaches in developing treatments. Their portfolio includes a number of different programmes in the areas of infection and inflammation where there is a high unmet medical need. Blueberry’s lead product BB0305, a novel nanoparticle antifungal formulation for the topical treatment of onychomycosis, will enter Phase 3 trials in 2016.

C-Major has designed and trialled the world’s first controlled retraction hypodermic device system that meets the needs of clinicians to reduce the number of needle stick injuries globally. The company is now completing the design and is looking to establish production and device approvals for entry into the fastest growing segment of the $3Bn safety syringe market by 2018.

Galen Research Limited, a leading International developer of Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) measures for use in clinical trials, health economic studies and routine clinical practice. The company has an established reputation for high quality work with the major UK, European and US pharmaceutical companies.

Gelexir Healthcare is introducing a novel, non-surgical procedure for the treatment of chronic lower back pain caused by degenerative disc disease.

Imagen Biotech is developing a technology (high content screening) to allow oncologists to personalise chemotherapy and thus select the best treatment for each patient. 

Lumbacurve International Ltd has designed and manufactured an innovative low back pain relief device. Recent independent clinical trials have shown it to be significantly more effective than current standard treatment guidelines.

Newtec Vascular Technology Ltd develops cardiovascular medical devices. Newtec is currently preparing to commence a clinical study on its first product for prevention of vascular stenosis (blood vessel narrowing).  The device is simple and quick to fit at the time of surgery with minimal deviation from existing clinical practice.

Optasia Medical uses novel image analysis techniques to extract clinically relevant information from medical images to better inform patient treatment.  Physicians can then make better informed decisions in managing patients suffering from musculoskeletal diseases especially in the elderly.

Sensam has developed a point-of-care breath test system to aid diagnosis of a range of illnesses.  The current focus is on the diagnosis of a common stomach infection and the trials in clinical environments are currently under way.  Further work has just started on fine tuning 0f the Sensam system for the lung cancer detection and screening

“With such a diverse cohort of companies spanning drug development, diagnostics and medical devices it was interesting to witness the participants’ engagement and evident learning throughout the programme.  The attendees were all very experienced in their respective fields but clearly all had much to learn with regard to engaging with the NHS.”

Dr Diane Cresswell, Executive Director of Business Development at Bionow

The nine companies taking part completed a business diagnostic with Bionow in order to gauge future requirements and support needed as part of the 3 month programme.

In collaboration with GM AHSN’s Innovation Nexus, delivered by TRUSTECH, we look forward to continued working with Bionow and our other partners in developing the best support structure for SMEs who wish to work with us in developing and delivery new innovations into the NHS.

Delivery Partners

The LifeScience Launchpad was delivered by specialist support organisations who gave their time pro bono including Inventya, Yorkshire Health Economics Consortium, TRUSTECH, Boyds, HGF, Intercytex, NIHR, Integral Finance, The Knowledge Transfer Network and Epiphany Capital.