£1.6million for IKC-supported technology

Case Study

£1.6million for IKC-supported technology

Date: July 23, 2014

A technology supported by the Medical Technologies IKC has won £1.6million investment to bring it closer to commercialisation.

The portable heart scanner, developed by University of Leeds Professor of Quantum Information, Ben Varcoe, was helped by the IKC from its earliest development.

The IKC enabled the initial partnership between Professor Varcoe and clinical cardiologists Professors Mark Kearney and Alistair Hall (see pp 14-15), which helped to identify a clinical need for the device and ensure its initial development was made with patients in mind.

With funding from the IKC, Professor Varcoe undertook initial proof of concept studies and developed a prototype device which is now being tested with patients and healthy volunteers in Professor Kearney’s clinic.

Working with the University of Leeds’ commercialisation partner, IP Group, the IKC helped to set up a spin out company, Quantum Imaging Ltd, in February 2014 and gain further investment. This will enable a CE marked commercial device to be developed and the necessary approvals to be obtained, so larger scale trials can be conducted.

CEO of Quantum Imaging, Steve Parker, believes that the technology would never have reached this stage without the help of the IKC.

“The role of the IKC is crucial, enabling early concepts to be developed to a stage where they can attract attention and win significant investment,” he says. “The IKC enables researchers and clinicians to show that the initial science is feasible and that a technology could have a medical application – to basically prove they have something viable which can inspire enough confidence for commercial partners to invest.”

In the case of the portable heart scanner, the market need was always clear: to reduce a 12 hour wait for diagnosis of a heart condition to a 10 minute test and so massively reduce the burden on emergency services.

“What we now need to show is that the scanner is sufficiently accurate to enable A&E consultants to send people home with confidence, knowing their chest pain is not due to a critical heart condition,” says Steve Parker. “If our larger trials are successful, then this technology has the potential to make a real difference to how we deliver healthcare, not only in the UK but globally.”

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