The Personalised Medicine World Conference, where industry leaders in the life sciences and biotech sectors present their latest research to peers, patients and investors, took place at Oxford University in April this year. The conference’s migration from its original home in Silicon Valley firmly reinforces the UK as a recognised player in the industry.
The UK MedTech market has an estimated value of £15 billion and has the largest life sciences cluster outside the US. Essex is ideally placed to be positioned as the home of MedTech with its recognised national and international clinical links, high level concentration of MedTech businesses and strategic location.
Med Tech research and development in Essex
Research and development in the life sciences sectors is going from strength to strength in the UK and in Essex. Local universities are providing the right environment for skills and business development in this sector with the county producing highly skilled graduates in the life sciences sector.
Essex is part of the London-Essex-Cambridge triangle which is home to four of the world’s top ten universities for life sciences. The universities in Essex, Cambridge and London together provide 35,500 new medicine, life sciences and healthcare graduates each year.
There are nearly 300 companies in the life sciences sector across Essex and firms such as Olympus Keymed, e2v, Clement Clarke and Teva are leading the way in scientific research and development.
e2v, also widely known for its involvement in space technology, has over 65 years of research and development in the medical market and is one of the leaders in the fight against cancer. Over 90% of all radiotherapy machines across the globe contain e2v’s technology and every two minutes someone in the world receives cancer treatment using technology built at e2v’s facility in Chelmsford.
Olympus Keymed is a leading manufacturer of innovative optical and digital equipment for the healthcare sector. Specialists for over 90 years in designing endoscopy and microscopy products, medical and industrial equipment, the company has just launched its latest product - THUNDERBEAT Open Fine Jaw – for delicate and fine tissue dissection for open surgery.
Recognition for innovation in life sciences
Universities in Essex are in the top 20 in the UK for research excellence according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the national review of higher education research. Professor Chris Cooper, blood substitute expert, from the University of Essex’s School of Biological Sciences, was one of three finalists in the Innovator of the Year 2015 competition. The awards are in recognition of efforts to take innovations from the lab to deliver social and economic benefits.
Biochemist Professor Cooper leads a team of scientists at the University’s School of Biological Sciences who are hoping to develop a one-size-fits-all artificial blood substitute that is a safe, long-lasting, virus-free alternative to current blood transfusions available to all countries and immediately accessible at the site of natural disasters.
Anglia Ruskin University’s Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU) was recognised last year for its work to improve eye and healthcare for diabetic patients of South Asian origin and VERU's Professor Rupert Bourne has been leading the most comprehensive study ever undertaken into the prevalence of global blindness. The findings have directly impacted on healthcare policymakers and professionals, charities and economic analysts around the world.
Taking medical business innovation to market
MedBIC, the Anglia Ruskin University Business Innovation Centre for Medical and Advanced Engineering is recognised for its work with early stage medical technology businesses. The £6 million centre has been purpose built to speed commercial ideas to market by providing support and help for businesses to develop. Companies such as FutureNova who created the LasarPen, an internet connected device for clinicians, provide r&d services in collaboration with their clinical r&d centre at the MedBIC.
"Our aim was that the Anglia Ruskin University MedBIC, combined with the Anglia Ruskin MedTECH Campus, would help Essex become a world-renowned centre of excellence for innovation, specialising in near-market developments in the medical technology sector."
Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University
Not only does the MedBIC offer ideal facilities for innovative companies in the Life Sciences sector, through the adjacent Postgraduate Medical Institute (PMI) and Clinical Trials Unit, but it works closely with every NHS service in Essex giving businesses unrivalled access to clinical trials and a potential test bed of three million patients.
Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has also launched a new project with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Life Sciences Organisation (LSO). The University Medical Devices and Healthcare International Business & Technology (IBT) programme aims to gain access, invest in and collaborate with the life sciences sector across the county.
Source [Essex University] [Anglia Business] [City AM] [Anglia Ruskin]
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