Celebrating innovation in the Welsh life science sector
Hundreds of guests gathered on 13th December 2016 at the MediWales Innovation Awards to celebrate the achievements of the Welsh life science community. Organised with support from Health and Care Research Wales, the black tie event took place at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.
The evening included a champagne reception, a gala dinner and a ceremony to announce the winners from industry and NHS award categories. This year, the awards received more NHS applications than ever before.
The Research Excellence in the NHS Award, sponsored by Rocialle, was presented to Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board’s department of colorectal surgery. The department is working to establish an accurate blood based biomarker for colorectal cancer in primary care, which would permit a more streamlined referral pathway into secondary care for symptomatic patients. This would improve early detection, which is a major factor in increasing survival rates.
Lymphoedema Network Wales won the Efficiency Through Technology – High Impact Award, sponsored by Roche, for their acquisition of lymphatic scanning equipment to facilitate a unique type of plastic surgery. It prevents the need for 70% of lymphoedema patients to wear compression garments, improving their quality of life and reducing costs for the NHS. Through the Health Technology fund, Wales has become the only nation in the UK to offer this surgery through the NHS.
The Bevan Health Technology Exemplars scheme received the NHS Collaboration with Industry Award, sponsored by Huntleigh. This scheme has provided funding and support for 25 NHS Wales clinicians to work in partnership with industry to implement an innovative health technology in their clinical area.
The Judges Award, sponsored by GX, was given to Cardiff & Vale University Health Board’s All Wales Genetics Laboratory. Their new technology enables non-invasive sampling of tumour DNA through a patient’s bloodstream, eliminating the need for invasive biopsy via surgery.
Neem Biotech won the Innovation Award, sponsored by Wynne-Jones IP. The biotech company is currently developing its flagship candidate, NX-AS-401, to target chronic respiratory infections, which are the biggest cause of death in people with cystic fibrosis. Preparations are underway for a first-in-human clinical trial in 2017.
The Start-Up Award, sponsored by Finance Wales, went to PulmonIR, an early-stage medical device spin-out from Swansea University with a focus on the detection and monitoring of lung diseases. Their technology aims to reduce exacerbation-related hospital admissions and is currently undergoing clinical evaluation.
Rocialle received the Partnership with the NHS Award, sponsored by Teamworks, for their collaboration with Cwm Taf University Health Board and 1000 Lives Wales to develop the single-use SepsisBox. It provides all the equipment needed for a nurse to start time-critical Sepsis Six treatment, with clear instructions for delivery, improving efficiency and patient outcomes.
The Export Award, sponsored by Capital Law, was given to Dynamic Extractions, who have increased their revenue from export sales by 378% over the past year. The company saw a significant rise in the number of technical sales enquiries and potential new customers as a result of forming agreements with key distributors in China and India.
HGR won the Judges Award, sponsored by Abel & Imray, for their new product to help pregnant women suffering from Pelvic Girdle Pain. The special harness, which the company’s founder initially created for his wife, is designed to support all three joints of the pelvis and has the potential to improve quality of life for mums-to-be.