Research by Professor Joost de Bruijn and team at QMUL from 2004 was
critical to demonstrating the efficacy and commercial viability of a novel
Instructive Bone Graft (IBG) product, AttraXTM. The technology,
commercialised via the spin-out business Progentix Orthobiology BV
(founded in 2007) was sufficiently mature by 2008 to attract series A
investment of €1 million series A financing by BioGeneration Ventures. The
development of AttraXTM has led to a trade sale totalling up to
US$ 80 million to the global top 5 spine company NuVasive Inc. in 2009. In
2011 an exclusive distribution deal with a global top 3 dental company was
signed for use of the technology in the field of dentistry and
craniomaxillofacial surgery. After regulatory approval of AttraXTM
in Europe (CE mark), the product was commercialised in 2011 and has been
used successfully in more than eleven thousand patients (as of 2013Q3)
with global reach (including EU, US, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil).
Within 1 year of commercialisation, a 1.1% share of the estimated US$2
billion global spinal bone graft market has been achieved. This research
has seen an economical benefit in terms of newly formed jobs from 2 FTE in
2008 to 25 FTE in 2013 at Progentix Orthobiology BV.
Biomedical devices that need to be implanted into the body typically
experience the so-called foreign-body reaction: proteins adhere to the
surface of the devices, leading to rapid loss of function and, eventually,
to a requirement for replacing the device. Between October 2006 and
September 2011, The University of Reading, in collaboration with the UK
SME BioInteractions Ltd., developed and evaluated a range of new
polymers for coating implantable biomedical devices, especially coronary
stents and catheters. The result was a coating system that can deliver a
drug controllably over a pre-defined period, leading to the commercial
biomaterials platforms AdaptTM and AssistTM. This
work resulted in capital investment by Biointeractions Ltd and a
substantial increase in their research staffing.
A multidisciplinary team has worked in applied cell engineering
implementing cell therapy and biological approaches in clinical practice
since 1997. The team has two GMP accredited laboratories in hospital sites
and a MHRA manufacturing license for chondrocytes and stromal /stem cells
for delivery to patients in orthopaedic clinical trials. The research had
impacts on health, economy, public policy and practitioners. Over 400
cartilage patients and over 150,000 knee ligament patients have benefited
directly from the research, and associated turnover is over £40,000,000.
Team members had influence on government, NICE and professional
Researchers at the University of Bristol's Interface Analysis Centre
played a key role in making it possible to extend the life of two nuclear
power stations. Their insights into how the microstructure of reactor-core
graphite degrades during service and how the material fractures enabled
Magnox Ltd to construct a convincing safety case for Oldbury nuclear power
station to operate for an extra four years and Wylfa power station to run
for an additional four to six years. In terms of the value of the
electricity generated, these extensions are worth some £5 billion. In
addition, the longer lifespan of these low-carbon power sources means that
less energy has to be generated from other, high-carbon sources, with the
environmental benefit of an overall reduction in CO2 emissions.
Nottingham researchers constructed the world's first 3T MRI scanner, thus
demonstrating the viability and benefits of high-field MRI. This provided
a stimulus for magnet and MRI system manufacturers to develop 3T scanners,
which have now become established as the standard platform for high-end
clinical MRI studies. We estimate that since 2008: 2500 3T scanners have
been installed, representing a global investment of $5 billion;and 30-40
million patient examinations have been performed with 3T MRI scanners.
Technical advances which underpinned the Nottingham 3T scanner also
impacted on the development of functional MRI, thus opening up a new field
of medical research and clinical application. In a subsequent phase of
research, the Nottingham group developed ultra-high (7T) magnetic MRI in
partnership with PhiIips; forty 7T MRI scanners (current unit cost
>$10M) have now been installed across the world.
Research into the biocompatibility of glass-ionomer bone cements
conducted at the School of Clinical Dentistry led directly to the start-up
of a UK company to manufacture a new medical device, creating jobs in the
supply chain and wealth creation via international sales. The new bone
cement is safe and clinically effective, and has maintained or restored
hearing to improve the quality of life of over 10,000 patients worldwide
since 1st January 2008. In the course of supporting this commercial
partner, Sheffield's staff also contributed to other non-academic tasks.
In the UK approximately 100, 000 people have a stoma, an artificial
opening in the bowel that is used to divert the flow of exudate prior to
subsequent external collection. Stoma exudate is a corrosive fluid, which
varies in pH and enzyme content. Therefore, it is important that the stoma
seal adhesive paste operates successfully within a diverse range of
physiological conditions. The novel stoma adhesive developed by Jones and
colleagues through KTP funded research in the School of Pharmacy was
launched by Eakin as Cohesive Paste™ and is now sold in 26
countries, with sales of more than £1M to date.
Professor Stephen Russell's fundamental and applied research on the
formation, structure and properties of nonwoven fabrics has directly led
to the creation and continued success of the Nonwovens Innovation and
Research Institute (NIRI) Ltd a University of Leeds spin-out company.
Formed in 2005 to exploit Russell's research, NIRI has grown annual sales
revenue to ~£1 million supplying products and services that have enabled
many medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and global public limited companies
(PLCs) to launch improved or new products, growing their market share and
positively impacting consumers. Additionally, the research has enabled
NIRI to independently establish and co-fund new commercial joint ventures
that have resulted in the development of new IP (intellectual
property)-protected products for improving global health and security.
NIRI has grown its workforce to twenty (mainly University graduates) and
has been profitable from the first year of trading.
Each year an estimated 1,324,000 artificial knee joints (total knee
replacements — TKR) are implanted worldwide; an estimated third of these
utilise an implant manufactured by DePuy International. Underlying
computer-based research performed by the Bioengineering Sciences Research
Group has played a central role during the development of a new design of
TKR for DePuy. The design programme, the biggest in DePuy's history, had a
budget in excess of US$10 million and aimed to replace the existing TKR
system, which had annual sales of approximately US$100 million.
Between 2007-2010, DePuy adopted the computational techniques developed
by the group as screening tools to (i) assess polyethylene wear and (ii)
account for the effects of surgical variability during the early design
phases. DePuy states "This research allowed us to choose the most
robust solution when proceeding to mechanical testing and saved years in
the design cycle. Patients also benefit from increased confidence in an
implant that is able to withstand the rigors of use".
Novel biological scaffolds that regenerate with the patient's own cells
have been researched, and patented and since 2008 developed, taken through
successful clinical trials and commercialised. Economic impact within the
REF period has been delivered through the University of Leeds spinout
company Tissue Regenix plc, which has received £32M private investment,
employs 35 people and is AIM listed, with a capital value of £70M. Health
impact has been delivered through licensing and development by NHS Blood
& Transplant Tissue Services. The biological scaffolds have
demonstrated five years' successful clinical use in heart valve
replacement and three years' clinical use as a commercial vascular patch.