Ten UK companies are to benefit from a share of £8.7 million provided by SBRI Healthcare to drive development of new technologies that could revolutionise the delivery of general practice.
The funding is the second tranche of investment handed out to the successful companies, which were picked from a shortlist of 22 companies that received six months feasibility funding in April last year.
According to SBRI Healthcare, the successful companies demonstrated “best value and greatest technical feasibility to a panel of experts looking for game-changing technologies with the highest potential value to patients and the health service.”
Each stands to receive between £700,000 and £1 million to continue with product development and testing.
Among the winning technologies is a novel, highly sensitive, simple and low-cost test for the early diagnosis and subsequent therapy monitoring of sepsis, which enables GPs to test much earlier and for treatment to start in the critical early stages.
“Around 40,000 people die in the UK each year with sepsis, and early detection and treatment is key to preventing these deaths,” noted Dr Matt Pearce, director of Medtechtomarket Consulting.
“This prestigious SBRI Healthcare award will help us to develop and refine our product, work closely with key senior NHS stakeholders, and gives us the opportunity to demonstrate how our innovation will drastically improve outcomes for people with Sepsis.”
Also included in the winning entries is a point-of-care device capable of performing immediate bacterial infection diagnosis and antibiotic susceptibility testing on urine samples within a GP setting, “addressing the rising incidence of antimicrobial resistance that threatens to render current antibiotics ineffective”.
Along similar lines, the initiative is also backing a new device able to measure novel biomarkers in a patient’s breath to immediately distinguish a viral from a bacterial respiratory tract infection, thus allowing the GP to prescribe antibiotics quickly and appropriately.
“The SBRI Healthcare programme addresses challenges that those at the coal face of medicine are facing. It is a privilege to be involved and to see the evolution of technologies that could become the ground-breaking medical innovations of the future,” said Dr Jo Roberts, clinical lead for Innovation and Medicines Optimisation, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group.
“I have been struck by the potential for revolutionary change to the management of patients and I particularly note those targeted at the ever growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.”