“The support East Midlands AHSN has provided over the last two years has been invaluable. The advice and guidance has been extremely useful, particularly when looking at developing the product for new markets and working on strengthening our evidence base. We know our innovations can make a huge difference to the lives of patients, so working towards spread and adoption across the UK healthcare system to benefit patients is our ultimate goal.”
Dr Andrew Hopkinson, CEO NuVision
Overview

NuVision eye treatment offer an alternative to eye surgery by using preserved amniotic membrane (membrane from placentas) to treat damaged corneas and promote healing. The products are unique, as the material is preserved making it easy to store and accessible to hospitals.

The company is in process of expanding into using their product to facilitate the treatment of chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers.

East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN) has been instrumental in supporting the company to commercialise this revolutionary procedure – with the support of the AHSN the company has experienced a significant increase in sales, has leveraged additional funding and has created new jobs.

The AHSN has worked with NuVision since 2017 and this is an example of the AHSNs’ key roles in generating a pipeline of innovation – the company was spun out of a research project by the University of Nottingham. The company is based in Nottingham and the product is currently used at 54 NHS sites in the UK including, Moorfields, Portsmouth, East Grinstead, Nottingham and King’s College with other new sites in the pipeline.

Initially EMAHSN invited NuVision to attend an extended innovation surgery – an element of the AHSN’s Innovation Exchange process – which focused on market scoping and advice around business direction and growth.

They also attended a number of one-one support sessions with EMAHSN experts, including a workshop on developing an NHS business case.

After this initial guidance, EMAHSN signposted and supported NuVision in their application for a MedTech grant provided by Medilink and part-funded by EMAHSN and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

This was instrumental in helping secure a £100,000 grant to cover clinical trials to provide an evidence base for using the product for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, results are currently pending. The company has also received support to develop their network of contacts and with further funding applications.

Following EMAHSN support:

  • In the last 12 months, over 1500 patients have been treated in the UK with NuVision products
  • They are anticipating to double their turnover in 2019-20, from £238,828 to over £500,000
  • Have secured a further £2 million of investment
  • Have recruited an additional eight members of staff.

Challenge / problem identified

There are number of corneal conditions that cause persistent eye wounds, which in many cases are not able to be successfully treated with non-surgical or surgical techniques – the worst cases can result in eye removal.

In 2017/18 there were a total of 26,881 episodes involving 16,874 patients recorded in England for corneal ulcer problems*. There is evidence that NuVision’s Omnigen® is able to heal persistent epithelial defects. In a recent trial persistent eye wounds in 11 out of 12 patients were fully healed following the application of NuVision products Omnigen® / Omnilenz® – and 9 of the 11 were completely healed within four weeks**.

NuVision’s Omnigen® / Omnilenz® has the potential to:

  • reduce Trust workloads
  • enable patients to be treated in an outpatient setting
  • improve quality of life for patients
  • reduce the need for costly theatre resources

*Based on the ICD10 codes 2017/2018 data

**A UK multi-centre case series using Omnigen® / Omnilenz® in the treatment of corneal disease

Authors N.J.R Maycock(1), F. Beer(1), C MacGregor(1), R Bassily(2), M. Abushamma(3), N Cota, R(3). Jayaswal(1)

  1. Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth
  2. Ipswich Hospital, Ipswich
  3. St Helens Hospital, Merseyside
How is the AHSN involved?

EMAHSN have offered a range of support to further NuVision’s business development and new product development. They have received in-depth advice and expert guidance on developing a business case commercialisation, diversifying their product, market research/scoping and gathering supporting evidence.

EMAHSN signposted to a MedTech trials grant scheme for the development of their product for the treatment of chronic wounds which will allow the company to diversify and enter new markets. They were successful with their application and received a £100,000 grant for a clinical trial with Derby Hospitals. Data from the trial has enabled them to secure a further £1,000,000 of funding to further their work.

Impacts / outcomes of AHSN involvement to date 

NuVision have seen a huge amount of growth over the last two years and by developing their product to cover the treatment of chronic wounds, they have the potential to see further significant growth.

EMAHSN have used their unique position between industry and the health and care system to provide expert advice on the market, brokering connections and opportunities to develop a further evidence base. NuVision have used this advice and expertise to better understand their audience to improve sales and to appeal to a wider market.

Following EMAHSN support:

  • Sales increase – anticipating to double their turnover in 2019-20, from £238,828 to over £500,000
  • Leveraged £100,000 of funding to support clinical trials and have secured £2 million of investment
  • Eight jobs have been created.

“We’re delighted to be working with NuVision to support them in the development of their products, particularly as the benefit to patients could be so great. Our involvement so far has been to offer advice and guidance in the areas of market, growth and evidence base development. Due to our close relationship with the health and care system, we recognise the ultimate importance of a robust evidence base and were happy to support NuVision with their application for a MedTech trial to develop further clinical evidence. We’re excited to continue to work this NuVision and help them ready themselves for further adoption across the NHS”.

Nick Brown, Commercial Manager at EMAHSN

Learning to date

Barriers and challenges to the adoption and spread of the product are:

  • That there is a very established treatment pathway for eye wounds and this treatment would require a revaluation of the existing pathway
  • Expansion of evidence is needed to create a robust case to encourage adoption
  • There is the procurement barrier and the need to secure a supplier listing.
Plans / timescales for adoption and spread (100 words maximum)

The company is in process of expanding into using their product to facilitate the treatment of chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers.

NuVision will be undertaking a full randomised control trial with Derby Hospitals over the next 12 months and results of this are expected in 2021.

As NuVision have expanded their sales provision, they are looking to increase the adopt and spread of their existing eye wound products.

Opportunities to get involved

NuVision are interested in rolling out the product to other trusts and are also looking to undertake further clinical trials.

Start and end dates

2017 – ongoing

Contacts

Nicholas Brown, Commercial Manager, East Midlands AHSN
E: [email protected]
T: 0115 7484236 | 07811 801583

Media enquiries:

Jayne Holgate, Communications Manager, East Midlands AHSN
E: [email protected]
T: 0115 74 84243 | 0797 367 4164