Interventional Biophotonics – A UK Healthcare Technology Accelerator Facility

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Technical Summary

The Confidence in Concept scheme is a key part of MRC’s translational research strategy and provides annual awards to institutions, to be used flexibly to support the earliest stages of multiple translational research projects. The award can be used by the institution to support a number of preliminary-stage translational projects. The projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach –– before seeking more substantive funding. It is intended to accelerate the transition from discovery research to translational development projects by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Increase in University of Edinbrugh funded infrastructure aimed at supporting medical technology development
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Uniting Clinical 'Pull' with Engineering and Physical Sciences 'Push'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Challenge Led Applied Systems
Amount £463,914 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/S000763/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2021
 
Description IRC Next Steps Plus: Photonic Pathogen Theranostics - Point-of-care image guided photonic therapy of bacterial and fungal infection
Amount £1,115,129 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R018669/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 03/2022
 
Description Impact Acceleration Account (Durham University)
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 11/2020
 
Title Generation of new medical devices 
Description This award funded 10 early-stage research of projects. Projects were generally collaborations between an NHS Lothian/University of Edinburgh clinician and an engineer or physical scientist from one of six universities: University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, University of Strathclyde, University of Bath, Dundee University and University of Durham. Here, the clinician identified an area of unmet clinical need - a clinical problem that currently lacks a satisfactory solution. HTAF then matched the clinician with an engineer/physical scientist who has a potential technological solution to that problem. For this specific round of CiC funding all potential solutions were biophotonics-based. The projects funded by HTAF encompass a wide variety of subject areas, including (but not limited to) ophthalmology, neurodegeneration, inflammation, septic shock, post-surgical infection, malaria, eye infection, lung transplant, liver injury and cancer. The devices that may result from these research projects may have great utility in a great number of areas of both treatment and research. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact N/A 
 
Description Aravind Eye Care System 
Organisation Aravind Eye Hospital
Country India 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Provision of SmartProbes and experimental protocols. Researcher time (visits). Intellectual input.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual input. Researcher and clinician time. Equipment. Data.
Impact Research direction. New research directions. Grant applications. Joint manuscripts. Reciprocal visits. Disciplines: microbiology, immunology, engineering, chemistry, medicine, epidemiology, global health.
Start Year 2018
 
Description California Life Sciences Institute 
Organisation California Life Science Institute
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Funding to enable this collaboration is provided via this Confidence in Concept award.
Collaborator Contribution The California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) are a San Francisco-based non-profit. They are providing commercialisation support to those project teams that have been awarded funding via this Confidence in Concept award. CLSI are helping the projects teams map out a pathway by which their technology (currently under development) could be commercialised/translated. An effective pathway must take into account many factors including, but not limited to, funding mechanisms, product development timeline, intellectual property, pathways to market and regulatory pathways. For each CiC-funded project CLSI will carry out the following: 1. An initial assessment of each project and its needs, strengths and weaknesses from a commercial viewpoint. 2. Assembly of a bespoke advisory board for each project drawn from CLSI's Bay Area Network of over 400 experienced industry professionals. 3. With input from each project team and each project's advisory board, assembly of a commercialization plan for the technology under development. Elements of this plan will include: a. Laying out a product development programme, accompanied by timelines and projected costs. b. Details of the available funding mechanisms for support of product development, and a consideration of which are most appropriate for the technology in question. c. Details of the commercial, legal and organizational structures germane to product development. d. Considerations of alternative paths to market, and an assessment of their relative merits. e. Guidance on how to secure IP protection and Freedom to Operate. f. Identification and documentation of relevant regulatory pathways. g. Identification of stakeholders and assessment of the product's opportunities in the context of stakeholders' interests. h. Assessment of any competiting technologies. i. A preliminary first pass product cost and pricing analysis.
Impact In February 2020, project teams funded through this award attended an intensive strategy and networking event hosted by the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) at their Bay Area Offices. This brought together the HTAF project teams (encompassing PhD students, early career researchers, clinicians and senior academics) alongside over 30 seasoned professionals, from the Bay Area and beyond, with expertise in a range of areas related to healthcare technology commercialisation (medtech, biotech, regulatory pathways, funding, legal/I.P., CEOs/CTOs, marketing).  The project teams received feedback on their technology and proposed developmental/commercialisation plans from panels of advisors drawn from CLSI's extensive network of industry leaders, clinical experts and business professionals. Each team had a full day review and developmental/strategy discussion focused on the technology they had developed via their Confidence in Concept funding. The feedback and advice they received was invaluable in ensuring that the projects within the HTAF CiC portfolio develop in a way that maximises the chances of successful future translation, commercialisation and adoption. Key outputs included identification of new IP, support for company formation, exploration of developmental paths, and, crucially, the identification of experts that will support projects in moving forward after CiC support. The cohort nature of the training and mentorship also served to train the researchers and clinicians in entrepreneurship, with whole-group sessions on technology licensing, intellectual property, spinning out companies, and how to move beyond academia.
Start Year 2018
 
Title IMAGING METHOD AND APPARATUS 
Description A method of determining a location of an optical fibre positioned at least partially inside a scattering medium, the method comprises transmitting pulsed light into the scattering medium, receiving, by a detector, photons of the pulsed light that have passed through the scattering medium, selecting signals corresponding to some of the received photons, wherein the selecting is based on a time of arrival of the received photons; and determining a location of the optical fibre based on the selected signals. 
IP Reference US2019298158 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2019
Licensed No
Impact Patent has now progressed to National Phase Filing. Results from a market assessment focused on this technology, funded through this award, was key in convincing the institution which held the patent to progress it, and support filing in additional territories.
 
Title IMAGING SYSTEM AND METHOD 
Description A system comprises a medical device configured to be positioned at least partially within a scattering medium, the medical device comprising at least one optical fibre or other waveguide having a plurality of light-emitting regions arranged along at least part of the length of the at least one optical fibre or other waveguide; a pulsed light source configured to transmit pulsed light into a proximal end of the at least one optical fibre or other waveguide, such that the pulsed light is guided along the at least one optical fibre or other waveguide to the light-emitting regions and emitted by the light-emitting regions into the scattering medium; at least one detector configured to receive photons of the pulsed light that have passed through the scattering medium; and a processor configured to: select signals corresponding to at least some of the received photons; determine a respective location of each of the light-emitting regions based on the selected signals; and determine a path of at least part of the medical device based on the determined locations. 
IP Reference WO2019138220 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2019
Licensed No
Impact Patent has now progressed to International Phase Filing. Results from a market assessment focused on this technology, funded through this award, was key in convincing the institution which held the patent to progress it.
 
Title Generation of new medical devices 
Description This award funded 10 early-stage research of projects. Projects were generally collaborations between an NHS Lothian/University of Edinburgh clinician and an engineer or physical scientist from one of six universities: University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, University of Strathclyde, University of Bath, Dundee University and University of Durham. Here, the clinician identified an area of unmet clinical need - a clinical problem that currently lacks a satisfactory solution. HTAF then matched the clinician with an engineer/physical scientist who has a potential technological solution to that problem. For this specific round of CiC funding all potential solutions were biophotonics-based. The projects funded by HTAF encompass a wide variety of subject areas, including (but not limited to) ophthalmology, neurodegeneration, inflammation, septic shock, post-surgical infection, malaria, eye infection, lung transplant, liver injury and cancer. The devices that may result from these research projects may have great utility in a great number of areas of both treatment and research. 
Type Diagnostic Tool - Imaging
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Non-clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2019
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact N/A 
 
Description Article in Impact journal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An article outlining the purpose of the Healthcare Technology Accelerator Facility (HTAF), and informing interested parties about its raison d'être and the facilities and services which it can offer to help academics and companies translate medical technology. This article is now in press and is due to be published Q2 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Engagement with Technology Transfer Offices of Consortium Universities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Visit of HTAF Project Manager to the technology transfer offices (TTOs) of the institutions involved in this award. Provided the TTOs with an overview of HTAF and formulated a plan for how best to coordinate efforts in order to drive forward the translation of promising medical technologies being developed in those institutions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description HTAF website launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Launch of the website for the Healthcare Technology Accelerator Facility. This provided an avenue by which interested parties could learn more about HTAF, the services/advice that HTAF can offer, and how they can access these things. HTAF has received numerous enquiries about potential use of HTAF facilities, with the resulting projects under development.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ed.ac.uk/healthcare-technology-accelerator
 
Description HTAF/Optima student collaboration 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact PHD Students on the Optima doctor training programme receive, over the course of their PHD, an education on matters related to business and commercialisation of science. For this cohort the students worked with the CiC-funded project teams in order to gain first-hand experience of the process of developing and attempting to translate a real-life piece of medical technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
URL https://www.optima-cdt.ac.uk/
 
Description Meeting with Director of N8 Research Partnership 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conversation with Dr Annette Bramley, N8 Director. The purpose of this conversation was to introduce Dr Bramley to the concept of the Healthcare Technology Accelerator Facility and discuss opportunities for expansion into those other institutions that fall under the N8 umbrella.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.n8research.org.uk/
 
Description NHS Health and Social Care Innovation Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation outlining the purpose of HTAF and its collaboration with Codebase. We also led a panel looking at various healthcare challenges facing the NHS.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meeting-of-the-nhs-health-and-social-care-innovation-network-tickets-...
 
Description Presentation at Health Innovation and Technologies Research Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of a poster at the Health Innovation and Technologies Research Festival (Heriot Watt University). The purpose was to inform the wider community about the Healthcare Technology Accelerator Facility and the facilities and services that can be accessed by researchers and companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/events/health-innovation-and-technologies-research.htm
 
Description Scottish Parliament Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Talk by Kev Dhaliwal to the Scottish purpose, outlining the concept behind HTAF and what HTAF can provide in order to increase the translation of promising healthcare technologies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018