"A novel therapeutic approach to development of Factor H protein that can be used in a variety of procedures."
Entrepreneur: Dr. Andrew Herbert
The Story: While a postdoctoral researcher in the school of Chemistry, Dr. Herbert and his team dealt with an everyday issue in the medical profession – increasingly, clinical interventions require prolonged contact between man-made devices and blood. The surfaces of these devices are often poorly tolerated, leading to complications including clot formation, chronic inflammation and rejection. Dr. Herbert and the team have invented a technology for recruiting the body’s own inflammatory regulators onto a polymeric surface coating to provide unprecedented natural protection.
After doing several rounds of market assessment, including one funded by Scottish Enterprise, it was clear that a large number of different implanted medical devices that would benefit from H-Guard technology. The market assessment indicated that the coronary stent market would offer the optimum risk/reward profile. Currently the 5-year restenosis rates for Bare Metal Stents are ~25 % whereas those for Drug Eluting Stents are ~15 %. The failure of stent grafts is a major burden for healthcare providers with associated global annual costs estimated to be in excess of $2b. Reducing rejection rates of coronary stents by 50 % would therefore produce a premium $1b per annum which could be used to command a price premium, to leverage market share or some combination of both.
H-Guard is currently en-route to market, developing a coating optimised for coronary stents and aiming the coating at established stent manufacturers or specialised medical device coating companies. H-Guard will offer significant benefits to both customers and end users. The customers will benefit from new stent products which exhibit reduced failure rates. The insurance companies and/or healthcare providers will benefit from the reduction in costs associated with stent graft failure and improved patient outcome figures. Finally, the patients will benefit from improved health, reduced drugs, and reduced hospitalisation.