Invizius CEO Richard Boyd, second from left, receives his award, photographed with OBN CEO John Harris, Sue Staunton, Head of Technology at award sponsor James Cowper Kreston, and science communicator and event host Sally Le Page
Invizius, a University of Edinburgh spinout whose technology promises to improve the lives of millions of dialysis patients, has been named Best Innovative MedTech company at the prestigious OBN Awards.
The company’s success in the awards, which have a high profile in the life sciences sector, follows on from a seed investment of £500,000 from Mercia Fund Managers in May 2018.
Invizius’ H-Guard™ product acts as a primer that ‘hides’ the blood filter used in dialysis from the body’s immune system. This has the potential to greatly cut the risks of cardiovascular disease, which severely reduces life expectancy among long-term dialysis patients.
Richard Boyd, Chief Executive Officer of Invizius, said: “The team is enormously proud that our innovation has been recognised with this prestigious award. The company is on an exciting journey and this adds to our momentum.”
While Invizius’s first product is aimed at kidney dialysis, there is also potential to use the technology with other devices or procedures such as cardiopulmonary bypass, catheters, stents, organ transplants and vascular grafts.
The company stems from years of research by Invizius’s Chief Technology Officer, biochemist Dr Andy Herbert, and his team while working at the University’s School of Chemistry.
With the support of Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service, the team secured translational funding from Scottish Enterprise’s High-Growth Spinout Programme and went on to launch the company in April 2018.
Dr George Baxter, Chief Executive Officer, Edinburgh Innovations, said: “Congratulations to the team for this well-deserved award. Invizius holds the promise of truly global impact, and we look forward to continuing to support the company as its technology and business develop.”
The funding from Mercia was the first deal to be announced since a partnership agreement was formed between Mercia and the University of Edinburgh to help identify investment opportunities in the Scottish region.
Dr Nicola Broughton, Head of Universities at Mercia, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Invizius team win this coveted award just six months after our investment through our partnership with the University of Edinburgh. We are proud to back the business as it goes from strength to strength and continues to develop a disruptive product that has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of dialysis patients.”
The OBN Awards, in their 10th year, were presented at a ceremony at the Examination Schools, University of Oxford.
John Harris, Chief Executive Officer of OBN, added: “We received an outstanding number of entries this year so competition has been really tough. All our winners and nominees this year are truly innovative and set a great example to the rest of the industry.”