RegeniTherix - a system for the point of care testing and treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers - has been shortlisted in the Project of the Year category in the Bionow Awards, which recognise the very best life sciences companies and innovations in the north of England.
The RegeniTherix system consists of a bioresorbable 'scaffold' to encourage growth of the patient's own cells into the wound space to begin repair and a hydrogel to enable the collection and sampling of biomarkers produced by these new cells. The biomarkers are measured using a hand-held reader device and provide clinicians with information on the healing or non-healing status of the wound. Knowing whether certain barriers to healing are present, such as excessive inflammation, high levels of degradative enzymes, poor tissue perfusion or infection, allows clinicians to select the most appropriate wound treatments for different patient groups. In this way, RegeniTherix is both a therapeutic - promoting chronic wound healing - and a diagnostic device ("theranostic").
The RegeniTherix system has been developed by a consortium led by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and involving York-based Neotherix, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the Durham-based companies SensaPharm and Complement Genomics. The project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme.
The cost of wounds to the NHS has been estimated to be more than £3 billion per year and to consume around 3% of the NHS's entire budget. NICE estimates that the cost of a wound to the NHS is £4,750 per patient and a range of £4,850-£7,500 per patient has been estimated for Europe as a whole. With an ageing population and the rising incidence of chronic diseases - both of which increase the incidence of chronic wounds - controlling and reducing the amount spent on treating wounds is of vital importance. A saving of 5% (achieved through improved healing, earlier patient discharge and fewer "wasted" dressings) will take around £200m pa off the NHS's budget and this is the initial target for RegeniTherix.
The Bionow Project of the Year Award criteria include the need to demonstrate the use of innovative approaches to develop biomedical products and will be awarded on the basis of the quality of the project and the degree of innovation. The winners of this and other awards for 2015 will be announced at the Bionow Annual Awards Dinner taking place on Thursday 26 November at the Mere Golf Resort and Spa, Cheshire at which the RegeniTherix consortium will be represented by Dr Mike Raxworthy from Neotherix.
For more information please see the Bionow Annual Awards Dinner web page .