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13 October 2017

posted Oct 13, 2017, 12:30 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Oct 13, 2017, 6:09 AM ]

NIHR DEC Leeds expertise to be showcased at personalised medicine congress

Researchers from NIHR DEC Leeds and the University of Leeds will be presenting three projects at the 1st EuropeanCongress on Personalised Medicine next month.

Mike Messenger, Deputy Director of NIHR DEC Leeds, will also be leading a panel discussion at the conference, along with Bethany Shinkins, Health Economics Theme Lead, and Geoff Hall, Health Informatics Theme Lead. 

Entitled "A Tale of Two Cities: a whole system approach to personalised medicine and health", the session will discuss the significant opportunities to reposition and develop personalised technologies to transform management of public health, community and primary care populations.

Through case studies and discussion, delegates will hear how the Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health has embraced these opportunities and has brought together the whole health and care ecosystem to match excellence in science and innovation, with patient and population needs.

Three posters have also been accepted for presentation at the event: Richard Neal, Professor of Primary Care Oncology at the University of Leeds, and Mike Messenger, Deputy Director of NIHR DEC Leeds, will present the  CanTest project, and explain how this will help GPs detect ‘difficult to diagnose’ cancers in a primary care setting and reduce the burden of referrals.

The other posters due to be presented are: “Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial”, and “Methods for the assessment of analytical validity in Health Technology Assessments (HTAs) of tests: results from an international systematic review”. 

The Congress takes place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 27-30 November.

13 October 2017

posted Oct 13, 2017, 12:27 AM by Beck Lockwood

GDEx system showcased at Global Forum on Medical Devices

A global solution for integrating point of care diagnostic devices and pathology laboratories through a worldwide network has been showcased by Leeds researchers at the World Health Organisation’s 3rd Global Forum on Medical Devices.

Dr Lena Jaspersen, from Leeds University Business School, presented a film to explain how the system, called the Global Diagnostic Exchange (GDEx), will address the challenge of integrating digital request and result data from different diagnostic devices so that it flows seamlessly through a global network of national hubs, from where it can be fed into electronic patient records (EPRs). Because the system is entirely digital, it enables doctors to review patient results faster, and also eliminates the errors caused by paper-based processes.

NIHR DEC Leeds were instrumental in recognising the need for the system and helped develop the GDEx concept. The system is based on the UK's National Pathology Exchange (NPEx) now used by 70% of NHS laboratories in the UK which was designed and build by X-Lab Ltd, a spinout company formed by staff and students from the University of Leeds. X-Lab has built a national reputation for delivering ground-breaking software applications to the NHS and now want to use their technology to revolutionise global digital diagnostics.

The WHO Forum was attended by experts from 71 countries, discussing trends in medical technology innovation and healthcare delivery and focussing, in particular, on how to achieve universal access to priority medical devices.

Dr Mike Messenger, Deputy Director of NIHR DEC Leeds, says: “GDEx has enormous potential to transform communications between diagnostic devices and pathology labs and clinics. It’s really exciting to see that potential being showcased to a global audience.”

13 October 2017

posted Oct 13, 2017, 12:25 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Oct 13, 2017, 6:09 AM ]

DEC researchers take part in Canadian Precision Medicine Policy workshop

Health economics researchers from NIHR DEC Leeds have been invited to take part in a workshop on precision medicine organised by the Genome Canada Precision Medicine Policy Network.

The event will focus on ‘Uncertainty in the Value Assessment of Precision Medicine’, examining best practice in identifying, quantifying and synthesizing uncertainty in the evidence base for the value of precision medicine technologies.

Health economics and statistical experts from the UK and Canada, along with clinicians and policy makers will share best practice, identify remaining challenges, and explore opportunities for future collaborations.

Participants will consider, in particular, the issues around uncertainty in the evidence for laboratory, therapeutics, patient and public values, and clinical implementation of precision medicine technologies.

Dr Bethany Shinkins, and Alison Smith will discuss health economic evaluation of medical tests.

“We’re excited to participate and present at this international workshop on Uncertainty in Precision Medicine,” says Dr Shinkins. “We have a fantastic collaborative relationship with Prof Chris McCabe and his group in Canada, and this workshop will enable us to identify key research priorities in the economic evaluation of precision medicine technologies and explore additional opportunities to work together”.

13 October 2017

posted Oct 13, 2017, 12:23 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Oct 16, 2017, 1:30 AM ]

New partnership will bring specialist blood tests into clinical laboratories

An instrument that can enable complex blood tests to be carried out in clinical laboratories could soon be commercially available, thanks to a new partnership between NIHR DEC Leeds and clinical diagnostics company, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Called the Thermo Scientific™ Cascadion™ SM Clinical Analyzer*, the instrument analyses samples using mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography – techniques which usually need to be carried out by specialist laboratories. Because the Cascadion Analyzer offers a fully automated process, the test can be carried out by any laboratory technician.

The Cascadion Analyzer will enable clinicians to analyse the levels of immunosuppressant drugs in the blood of patients who are receiving treatment as a result of organ transplantation. These drug levels need to be carefully monitored, as high doses can cause severe side effects, whereas if the dose is too low, there is a risk of organ rejection.

NIHR DEC Leeds is working with Thermo Fisher Scientific to facilitate access to surplus blood samples at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The Trust is supplying 300 whole blood samples from liver and heart transplant patients taking the immunosuppressant drugs cyclosporine and tacrolimus.

The samples, which would otherwise be thrown away, are completely anonymous, and will be used by Thermo Fisher Scientific to validate the performance of the assay, to ensure it is safe and accurate for use in the NHS and other healthcare systems. With the gathered evidence, the company plans regulatory submissions which will enable it to make the system available for patient benefit.

Dr Rosie Ferguson, Programme Manager at NIHR DEC Leeds, says: “Getting access to samples can be logistically difficult for companies as the correct protocols have to be followed, as well as the practical issues of appropriate transport and storage.”

“NIHR DEC Leeds’s mission is to build relationships between the NHS, academia and industry, and to find ways to bring new products that will benefit patients to market quickly and efficiently, so we were ideally placed to find ways to address these challenges.”

Sarah Robinson, Market Development Specialist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, adds: “NIHR DEC Leeds have been fundamental in ensuring that Thermo Fisher Scientific is able to access these samples. Without these, we simply would not be able to provide the evidence required for the Cascadion Analyzer to meet the very stringent regulatory requirements in Europe and in the US.”

The Cascadion Analyzer is focusing on analysis of immunosuppressant drugs and other assays, including testing levels of Vitamin D and testosterone – both commonly requested tests which are currently difficult to analyse accurately.

*This product is still in development and not yet available for sale. 

13 September 2017

posted Sep 13, 2017, 1:45 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Sep 13, 2017, 1:52 AM ]

Innovate UK announces new funding for precision medicine

A new precision medicine funding competition has been launched this week by Innovate UK.

The £6m fund is targeting innovation projects that support the development of precision medicine technologies. In particular, Innovate UK is looking to encourage applications that can provide evidence of engagement with regional precision medicine centres of expertise across the UK.

Applications can be for feasibility studies, or industrial research and experimental development projects.

Feasibility projects can last up to 12 months and have total project costs of up to £100,000. Eligible applicants will include single-company SME projects or collaborative projects led by an SME.

Research and experimental development projects can last up to 24 months and have total project costs of between £1 million to £2 million. Projects that are led by a business or research and technology organisation, or collaborative projects will be eligible.

The competition closes on 25th October and all projects must start by 1st March 2018.

More information is available on the Innovate UK website.

12 September 2017

posted Sep 12, 2017, 5:39 AM by Beck Lockwood

Translate: Me - Innovation Bootcamp

A bootcamp event, aimed at empowering Early Career Researchers and Postgraduate research students to innovate more effectively, is being held in Leeds in December.

The three-day residential event is organised by Translate, a HEFCE-funded programme working to develop medtech innovation in the Leeds City Region. Translate: Me is the organisation's professional development initiative, which aims to enhance and embed medical technology innovation know-how across the Leeds City Region.

The Bootcamp is open to 25 delegates from across Translate’s five partner universities and will cover the innovation development process from idea to reality. 

Participants will learn from actual innovation case studies, to gain an understanding of the challenges facing innovation in healthcare.

They will work in teams to produce a short business case, which they will pitch to a panel of ‘dragons’, with the winning team receiving a prize worth more than £1000.

By the end of the workshop, delegates will be equipped with the tools to efficiently identify and scope genuine unmet clinical need and develop an innovation idea through to pitching a new product or service.

Spaces are limited, and will be allocated on a competitive basis and balanced across partner universities. The cost of the workshop is £50 per delegate, including accommodation and catering.

Delegates can apply by filling in the online form.
Deadline for applications: 6th October 2017

Full details can be downloaded from the Translate website.

Any queries should please be directed to the Translate team on hello@translate-medtech.ac.uk

31 August 2017

posted Aug 31, 2017, 4:24 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Oct 13, 2017, 12:21 AM ]

NIHR DEC wins bid to become NIHR Medtech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative

NIHR DEC Leeds has been successful in its bid to become one of the Government’s newly-funded MedTech & In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operatives (MICs).

The new organisation, called NIHR Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR Leeds IVD Co-operative), will launch on 1 January 2018, and will be led by Professor Gordon Cook, who is taking over as Clinical Director from Professor Peter Selby.

"Leeds hosting this very important infrastructure programme is a fantastic opportunity to bring together several talented researchers in Leeds to interface with industry and academia to impact diagnosis and ultimately benefit patients,” says Professor Cook.” We will build on the excellent work of NIHR DEC (Leeds) moving forward to generating more successful interactions and outcomes.”

The role of NIHR Leeds IVD Co-operative will be to catalyse the generation of high quality evidence on commercially-supplied IVDs that is required by the NHS, industry and other organisations

In particular, NIHR Leeds IVD Co-operative will  focus on four clinical areas that have a high burden of disease and unmet clinical needs:

·         Oncology

·         Musculoskeletal Disease

·         Infection Diagnostics

·         Renal Medicine.

Each theme has the potential for the development of new medical devices or evidence on commercially supplied IVDs which will lead to improvements in healthcare services.

To support the IVD evaluation pathway, NIHR Leeds IVD Co-operative will draw on expertise in health economics, health informatics, clinical trials and multidisciplinary pathology.

NIHR Leeds IVD Co-operative is one of 11 MICs established nationwide to build expertise and capacity in the NHS to develop new medical technologies and provide evidence on commercially-supplied in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests.

Also successful in its bid to establish a new NIHR Medical Technology and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative was Leeds Colorectal Therapies HTC, making Leeds the only institution in the country to host two MICs.

Funding will continue for five years, enabling the MICS to act as centres of expertise, bringing together patients, clinicians, researchers, health commissioners and industry.

Dr Louise Wood, Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health, said: “The funding received by the 11 NIHR Medtech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operatives will make a real difference to patients’ lives and provide a focal point for the medtech and in vitro diagnostic industries to develop new technologies and generate the evidence needed by the NHS to support the uptake of new tests.”

22 August 2017

posted Aug 22, 2017, 4:54 AM by Beck Lockwood

New SME-focused funding stream from i4i launched

A new funding stream from NIHR’s i4i Programme - i4i Connect - has been launched this month. It’s aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of a funding boost to reach their next stage in the development pathway.

SMEs will have until 13 September to submit an expression of interest to the i4i Connect funding call. Successful applicants will then be invited to submit a business case and video pitch.

On announcing the new funding Martin Hunt, NIHR i4i Programme Director said:

“SMEs have told us that there is a gap in funding both in the early stage of development and for completed projects that do not have all the data to effectively access the follow-on funding marketplace. i4i Connect will support teams through either of these stages of development with a fast turnaround of funding - vital for SMEs needing to maintain momentum.

“The NIHR will provide a maximum of £150,000 short term funding (6-12 months) for SMEs with innovative technologies in the pipeline. This new funding will help SMEs get to the next stage of investment, supporting accelerated development to ensure technologies benefit patients sooner.”

For more information, visit the NIHR's Funding Opportunities page.

21 August 2017

posted Aug 21, 2017, 5:01 AM by Beck Lockwood

AdviSe ME Competition open for applications

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is offering the chance to win £15,000 worth of scientific advice through its AdviSe ME Competition.

The competition is open to healthcare SMEs, academic research groups or charities who are developing transformative healthcare products for the NHS. Eligible products include medical devices, medicinal products, diagnostics tests or tools, healthcare apps, and cell or gene therapies.

Successful applicants will get access to NICE's Light Scientific Advice service, which guides researchers in considering the clinical and cost effectiveness of products - considerations that can help inform a product development strategy.

Applications must be received by 13 October and the winners will be announced in January 2018.

For more information and an application pack, visit the NICE website.

21 August 2017

posted Aug 21, 2017, 4:24 AM by Beck Lockwood   [ updated Aug 21, 2017, 4:26 AM ]

First European Alliance for Personalised Medicine Congress to be held in Belfast

Registration is now open for the first European Alliance for Personalised Medicine Congress, to be held in Belfast in November.

Mike Messenger, Deputy Director of NIHR DEC Leeds, will be presenting a session at the conference, along with Bethany Shinkins, Health Economics Theme Lead, and Geoff Hall, Health Informatics Theme Lead. 

Entitled "A Tale of Two Cities: a whole system approach to personalised medicine and health", the session will discuss the significant opportunities to reposition and develop personalised technologies to transform management of public health, community and primary care populations.

Through case studies and a panel discussion, delegates will hear how the Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health has embraced these opportunities and has brought together the whole health and care ecosystem to match excellence in science and innovation, with patient and population needs.

The Congress will be held from 27-30 November 2017. For more information, or to register, visit the EAPM 2017 website.


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