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Three Companies Awarded Funding in Department of Health’s SBRI Healthcare Programme

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SBRI Healthcare has recently announced the three companies awarded phase 2 development funding in the SBRI Medicines Management competition.

From five companies awarded phase 1 funding in October 2012, three have demonstrated best value and greatest technical feasibility.

At a typical cost of £250,000 to £1million each, the successful companies will be supported and fully funded to take their technologies through to commercialization and procurement.

Focused on effective medicines management, the current competition winners are developing innovative solutions to improve the number of patients taking prescribed medication.

This is an area that significantly contributes to unscheduled hospital admissions and costs the NHS £100m every year in drug wastage.

The successful projects are expected to bring quality and cost benefits to the NHS through improved healthcare delivery, particularly in vulnerable patient groups and by facilitating continuing care in the home.

Funding for the SBRI Healthcare programme has been secured from the Department of Health. The UK’s innovation Agency, the Technology Strategy Board, run the series of competitions which are managed on their behalf by Health Enterprise East.

Health Minister, Lord Howe said: "Technology and innovation have an important role to play in helping to improve the way people are cared for by the NHS.

Howe continued, “This competition is an excellent opportunity to develop highly innovative solutions to improve the number of patients taking their medication. Congratulations to the three companies on being awarded the next phase in funding - their projects demonstrated best value and technical viability.”

Karen Livingstone, Director of Strategic Partnerships at NHS Midlands and East said: “Congratulations to all three companies, the award of phase 2 funding is testament to each company’s ability to recognize a real opportunity to improve patient outcomes and develop innovative solutions. We look forward to supporting the teams through the commercialization process and help in accessing potential industry partners.”

The three companies selected to receive phase 2 funding are:
Bespak Europe Ltd, Cambridge-based, developing a new bolus drug delivery device using novel delivery technology that is simple and easy-to-use and will bring cost savings to the NHS. With phase 1 technical feasibility project successfully completed, the development work in phase 2 will focus on creating a device which is ready for clinical trials and commercialization.

Therakind Ltd, London-based, developing a simple novel device that enables rapid and easy treatment of hypoglycaemia in child diabetes, which currently results in at least 15,000 hospital admissions each year in England. Phase 2 funding will allow continued development, taking the product to proof of concept in man. Cost effective for the NHS, the device will bring a major benefit to patients.

UMotif Ltd, London-based, developing a patient-centred self-management and self-care platform with web and mobile apps that help people with Parkinson's Disease to track and manage their condition.

Patients can share their data with their neurologists and other health professionals to support the delivery of care and enhance shared decision making. The software will be tested through a multi-centre trial across the UK.

The project follows a successful phase 1 trial overseen by Birkbeck, University of London, with patients recruited via The Cure Parkinson's Trust, during which the app achieved 70% daily use rates and increases in self-reported medication adherence.