Archive for May, 2012

Telestroke medical equipment saving lives in Lancashire

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Medical experts in the Lancashire and Cumbria cardiac and stroke network have said that the new medical equipment that sustains the Telestroke service will help around 40 stroke victims recover every year with minimal disability.

Telestroke was launched last July after being worked on for nearly three years, and is based on a £9 million contract with seven healthcare trusts across Lancashire. The Polycom ‘telecart’ – which features a mobile video conferencing unit – provides an out-of-hours link between specialist consultants and stroke patients, allowing the consultants to remotely examine patients in other medical facilities when they are unable to attend in person.

The senior stroke consultant at Blackpool Victoria hospital, Dr Mark O’Donnell, said that the degree of precision and accuracy in the video service is almost fine as being there in person.

He explained, “I can remotely control the camera at the patient’s end so that I can zoom in on particular features if I wish to, and particularly to see the movement of the eyes and facial muscles.”

Kathy Blacker, the director of Lancashire and Cumbria cardiac and stroke network, said. “We took the view that the best thing to do was to treat people in their local hospital if we could and virtually take the consultant to the bed, rather than bring the patient to the consultant.”

Strathclyde Uni in wins technology partnership with South Korea

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Medical and scientific sales jobs are likely to stem from a pioneering new partnership between Strathclyde University in Scotland and South Korea’s global research and commercialisation programme.

The university has been chosen to work with South Korean technology companies to work on feasibility study projects and full-scale research and development projects in a range of technology areas. Bio and medical devices, robotics, software and computing and electronics will be some of the key areas of focus for the project.

Strathclyde University was chosen following a competitive process that saw six higher education establishments from across Europe shortlisted for the task. The university’s bid was aided by Scottish Development International (SDI), whose chief executive, Anne McColl, said that the partnership endorsed Scotland as an industry partner of choice.

“This is especially true given that the endorsement is from the Korean government that chose a Scottish university over any other in Europe in its search for an institution with a strong track record of success in commercial innovation and industry-driven research capability,” she said.

“We know that research and commercialisation are key drivers of growth, and by collaborating with other countries we can further enhance our reputation on the global stage as a knowledge-led economy.”

New jobs created at medical devices firm

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

A top medical devices firm in Ireland is to create 200 new jobs at its centre of excellence.

The new employees will work at Merit Medical Systems’ €20 million facility in Galway and will add to the 379 staff that the firm already employs. Merit was established in 1996 and designs, develops, manufactures and sells interventional and diagnostic medical devices globally. The new team will help to make products used for cardiology, radiology and endoscopy.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced the firm’s plans to take on the new staff and said the move will help Merit to carry out further research and development, as well as boost its capacity.

The Belfast Telegraph quotes Mr Kenny as saying, “It is also a significant endorsement of Ireland as a location for investment and highlights the importance of economic stability.”

The recruitment of the 200 staff will be phased in over the coming five years and a third of those who are taken on will be third-level graduates.

Fund supporting development of UK medical devices

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Experimental technology, including the use of video games, pioneering gene therapies and new medical devices, is being developed with the aim of transforming NHS treatment.

The Department of Health and leading medical research charity, the Wellcome Trust, are supporting the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, which was set up in 2009. Its aim was to foster medical innovation with potential clinical application in the NHS within a five-year time frame.

One of the developers whose research has gained critical funding from the initiative is Professor Janet Eyre, at Newcastle University, who has been able to develop a system for therapists to monitor patients’ arm rehabilitation and recovery after a stroke using video games that can be played at home.

She explained that the continuous tracking of patients’ progress by their therapist will allow for recovery programmes to be even more specifically tailored and enable them to speed up.

“We hope that enabling therapists to monitor their patients’ progress remotely will improve compliance with home based therapy programmes, speed up recoveries and free up valuable clinic time,” she said. Ultimately, therapists will be able to supervise more patients and patients should regain greater independence.”

The technology is expected to be released for consumer and NHS use within two years.

New medical adhesive giving encouraging test results

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Doctors across Europe have hailed the development of a new fast-acting medical glue as a breakthrough treatment for varicose veins.

Clinical testing of the glue – called VenaSeal – has been taking place across Europe, led by scientists from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College, London.

The adhesive has been developed by US company, Sapheon, and is injected into diseased veins so blood is re-routed into healthier veins. Tests have so far yielded a 100 per cent success rate in the tests on 120 patients.

Sapheon’s chief medical officer, Dr Rodney Raabe – who is also responsible for inventing the glue – said that it eliminates the need for the patients to wear compression stockings after any treatment because, in this case, compression is not part of the procedure.

He explained, “Unlike laser, radiofrequency and steam treatments, our procedure is also entirely non-energy based so there is no need for expensive equipment to generate heat and no need for local anaesthetic to be administered the full-length of the vein to reduce any pain.”

Professor Alun Davies, who has tested the glue on 12 patients at London’s Charing Cross Hospital said his tests have been very encouraging.

“So far it has been very straightforward and all the patients have been fine,” he said. “One had a complication of inflammation on the skin but that soon settled down.”

Angel Biotechnology making strategic growth moves

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Angel Biotechnology, the biologics manufacturer and supplier, is likely to create new medical sales jobs through its purchase of a collagen manufacturing facility in Scotland to supply collagen products in the medical device markets.

The company has set up a new subsidiary, ABL, to supply the collagen products since making the £200,000 purchase. Angel is also reportedly in advanced negotiations for a long-term supply contract with a ‘sizeable’ client for materials supplied directly from ABL.

The company’s executive chairman, Paul Harper, said that the purchase of the manufacturing plant in Glasgow and the formation of ABL were important moves for the company and demonstrated their growing strength.

“The formation of ABL provides significant strategic advantages to the group, and the distinctive competencies offered will provide a one-stop shop for companies in the regenerative medicine space,” he explained.

A company spokesman added ABL would allow them to target the specific collagen products area, where opportunities can be quicker to realise than in Angel’s core business. He said, “ABL will make a positive contribution to the group’s earnings within the short to medium term.”

The news of the purchase saw Angel’s share price rise 13.6 per cent to 0.2 pence.

Scientific equipment companies show resurgent strength

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

New statistics on the British scientific and laboratory equipment industry have shown that there has been a significant fall in the number of companies making a loss.

The figures, which are the product of research by analysts, Plimsoll, show that many British companies have succeeded in weathering the economic instability of recent years and managed to rebuild their profitability.

The leading analyst on the recent report, David Pattison, said that the industry has shown a marked turnaround from its position last year, when a similar piece of research showed that millions of pounds worth of profit was being wasted

“In our latest analysis, the number of companies making a loss has fallen from 202 to 174,” Pattison said. “It’s quite remarkable that so many companies have managed to rebuild their profitability during the worst trading conditions in recent memory.”

Some 98 of the 682 companies surveyed were placed in the ‘high profit’ category, averaging profits of around 24 per cent – three times higher than the overall profit margin of eight per cent. Pattison said that the ‘high profit’ companies demonstrated excellent management systems.

Pattison added that there was still work to be done, however, stating, “While there is good news elsewhere, it is worth remembering that there are still 174 companies making a loss, 82 of which are doing so for the second or even third year running.”

Gen-Probe acquisition could boost medical sales jobs

Friday, May 4th, 2012

The acquisition of US-based Gen-Probe by Hologic could boost medical sales jobs, it has been suggested.

The $3.7 billion acquisition deal is expected to help both firms to expand their presence in the life sciences industry.

Peter Abair, director of economic and global affairs at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, told the Boston Herald the deal may also be positive news for the medical sales jobs market. He is quoted as saying, “Hologic is becoming a bigger and bigger player. It speaks to the health of the company and the industry here.”

Under the terms of the deal, Gen-Probe will become a subsidiary of Hologic, firm which specialises in medical devices related to women’s health, such as breast and cervical cancer treatments.

Media reports say that Gen-Probe recently got the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration to sell a test which can highlight whether men who have prostate cancer require a biopsy. The firm also sells products such as molecular diagnostic tests for sexually transmitted diseases and West Nile virus.

Rob Cascella, chief executive of Hologic, told the Financial Times, “With the addition of this product line and these products, we feel that we’re positioned to now have a high-growth molecular business and overall diagnostic business.”

He added, “This story is about the growth of two businesses on a faster trajectory.”

Industry optimism could boost medical sales jobs

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

New research has found that optimism is growing in the medical devices industry.

Such confidence could provide a boost for medical sales jobs. The Global Medical Devices Survey 2012–2013: Market Trends, Marketing Spend and Sales Strategies in the Global Medical Devices Industry report, published by ICD Research, sheds light on planned media spend in the medical devices industry, as well as on how sales strategies and business plans are set to change in 2012–2013.

The research found that 54 per cent of those surveyed are “more optimistic” about increased profits for their business over the coming financial year compared to the last year. 27 per cent said they were “neutral”, whilst just 18 per cent said they were “less optimistic” about revenue growth.

Optimism levels are slightly down since the 2010 and 2011 surveys, when 64 per cent and 61 per cent respectively said they were “more optimistic” about revenue growth. However, analysis from InfoGrok found that, “On a macro level, the results of 2010, 2011 and 2012 show little variation, suggesting that initiatives implemented in 2010 and 2011 have been sustained, and that the industry is progressing at a steady rate.”