A University of Manchester spin-out behind a medical device designed to detect life threatening infections will kick off its first clinical trial following a £1.4 million investment boost.
Through its ‘iPad mini sized device’ MicroBioSensor aims to help people with kidney failure undergoing peritoneal dialysis.
Based at The University of Manchester’s Innovation Centre, UMIC, MicroBioSensor recently secured £1.4m worth of equity finance from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and Catapult Ventures.
MicroBioSensor CEO Dr Gordon Barker said: “2018 is going to be a very important year for our 11-strong team as we look to successfully run our first clinical trial which will last through to the second quarter of 2019.
“Essentially, this is all about detecting potentially life-threatening infections early, to improve treatment outcomes.”
Dr Barker said that of the 50,000 to 60,000 people in the UK on renal replacement therapy, less than 10 per cent are on peritoneal dialysis.
“One of the reasons for that is people are worried about infection in the peritoneal cavity around their gut, as it will kill you if it’s left untreated,” he said. “Our device plugs into the equipment that dialysis patients use every day and detects emerging infections in this space, which potentially means keeping people on peritoneal dialysis for longer which is a good thing.
“If the clinical trial goes well we’ll be able to start selling the medical device for use in hospitals and clinics, which also saves the NHS money.
“The idea is that eventually it will be used at home by patients, as our technology is so simple that a non-specialist can use it with confidence.
“You are essentially looking at a window on the device for a colour change. If it’s a pale green everything is ok, if it goes to a dark purple colour, you know you have a problem. The idea is to flag that problem at a pre-symptomatic stage.
“You then go straight to the doctor rather than waiting to fall ill,” added Dr Barker.
MicroBioSensor has so far also been funded through transitional funding and grants including £125,000 from UMIP, £100,000 from Spark Impact and £983,000 from innovate UK.