Norwich’s Ablatus Therapeutics and Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Safira project given cash injection

A company fighting cancer, a device to stop sleep disorder and a project to make local anaesthetics safer have been handed major cash boosts.

The Medtech Accelerator programme, which is run in partnership with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), awarded grants of £80,000 to £125,000 to four projects across East Anglia including two in Norfolk.

Future50 member Ablatus Therapeutics, a spin out from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, won £124,796 for its work on tissue ablation methods – which are used to destroy tissue such as tumours in situ.

Its bimodal electric tissue ablation process prevents tissue damage and increases the size of the zone which can be treated.

The research is being led by Dr John Gibson and aims to provide a cheaper and simpler method to inject regional anaesthetics – reducing the risks involved in the standard procedure. The funding will help develop the current prototype with the aim of leading to a first study in humans.

Dr Anne Blackwood, chief executive of Health Enterprise East, said: “Without the proper funding, brilliant innovations can go unrecognised and fail to get developed altogether, much to the detriment of the NHS. Medtech Accelerator supports medtech innovators in the crucial early stages of growth, with funding that will help them get to market faster.”

She added that the latest round of awards, bringing the total handed out to £670,000 to seven projects had “the potential to become game-changers in the NHS and life-changing for patients”.

The Medtech Accelerator is a joint venture between New Anglia LEP, Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership and Health Enterprise England.