Health Enterprise East, a provider of business and innovation management services to the NHS and industry, has sold Northwood Medical Innovations to global pharma Allergan for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2010 as a spin out of HEE and West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Northwood has developed a minimally invasive pioneering implant technology, earFold, as an alternative to conventional surgery for correcting prominent ears. 

The procedure takes just 20 minutes under local anaesthetic as an outpatient, compared to the traditional two hours in general surgery, and overall outcomes are improved with reduced risk of keloid scaring and cartilage damage, less chance of infection, faster recovery times and improved symmetry when both ears are being corrected, according to HEE.

Botox-maker Allergan, which is currently in talks with Pfizer over a potential merger, is intending to commercialise the product widely across Europe, and will continue to explore the regulatory pathways and necessary clinical data requirements for launching the medical device in other countries, including the US.

Revenues from the company’s sale “will be re-invested into ensuring that other pioneering innovations from staff across the NHS are identified, developed and commercialised,” said HEE.