MetaMedical™ Solutions Inc

UK Government invests £10m to rush devices to market

The UK Government has invested £10m ($12.5m) across a selection of medical technologies in a move to bring them to market faster.

The spending comes as part of the UK’s Department for Health and Social Care’s Innovative Devices Access Pathway, which funds the development of devices for use in the National Health Service (NHS). The government announced the funds will focus on pushing eight devices to market.

Among some of the devices in receipt of the funds is HistoSonics’ Edison device designed to identify and destroy liver cancer tumours using focused ultrasound waves, breaking down tumours without damaging healthy tissue as an alternative to radiotherapy. Another is Roche Diagnostics’ Amyloid Plasma Panel blood test designed to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.

In October 2023, HistoSonics was granted the green light to go to market by the US Food and Drug Administration after passing a De Novo Classification Request process, a rigorous pre-market review pathway for medical devices with no existing predicate.

While still only in its pilot stage, the initiative is being overseen by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and NHS England.

UK Health Minister Andrew Stephenson, said: “NHS staff need access to the latest technology to deliver the highest quality care for patients and cut waiting lists – one of our top five priorities. These cutting-edge technologies could help thousands of patients with a range of conditions, including cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s while easing pressure on our hospitals and reducing healthcare inequalities.”

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Another device is a portable blood test developed by Upfront Diagnostics designed to help paramedics identify stroke victims much more quickly than traditional methods. The funding is also set to back Lenus Health’s artificial intelligence (AI) system for predicting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as EarSwitch’s device designed to detect blood oxygen levels through a patient’s ear canal.

Vin Diwakar, national director of transformation for NHS England, said: “This is an important milestone in our work to ensure the NHS continues to get the best new technologies and treatments to patients faster, having already rolled out more than 100 new treatments through the cancer drug fund and setting up a dedicated programme to prepare for new Alzheimer’s treatments once they are approved.”

Elsewhere in the UK, the Scottish Government has launched its own initiative intended to fast-track medical devices to market, with the Scottish Medical Device Consortium being awarded £3.35m to pursue ecologically sustainable medical devices.

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