Oxford Endovascular has raised £2m from investment company Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC, Parkwalk Advisors and other private investors to take the device through clinical trials, and ultimately aims to treat thousands of patients worldwide.
A brain aneurysm is a weakened point in a blood vessel where the pulsing blood pressure causes the wall of the vessel to balloon or bulge. About one in 50 people in the UK develop aneurysms each year. If an aneurysm is left untreated it can burst or rupture, causing intense pain and life threatening bleeding into the brain which will result in serious brain damage or death.
James Byrne, a Professor of Neuroradiology at the John Radcliffe Hospital and Zhong You, a Professor in the Department of Engineering Science designed the device after observing the limitations of existing treatments.
The Oxford technology uses a special laser-cut metal alloy which has a shape-memory. It can be posted into a catheter during surgery, inserted into the brain and opened up into a tiny mesh tube (‘flow diverter’) that fits into the natural shape of the blood vessel. This diverts the blood away from the aneurysm, allowing it to heal.
CEO Mike Karim said: “Cerebral aneurysms in the brain are unfortunately very common, and a third of people who develop this problem will die. A third of survivors will suffer permanent neurological damage if left untreated.”
Oxford Endovascular’s chairman, Brian Howlett, said: “We believe the Oxford Endovascular device will dramatically improve outcomes for patients, as many cannot be treated with current technologies. Physicians will be able to place the device more accurately and in a wider range of patients ensuring treatment is safer and more effective. Our aim is that they will also be able to treat deeper brain blood vessels not accessible with existing devices.”
The University’s technology commercialisation company Isis Innovation supported the team by filing patents, building the business plan and marketing the opportunity.
Isis Innovation Head of Technology Transfer - Life Sciences, Dr Adam Stoten said: “With risk factors such as cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and diabetes on the rise, new treatments for aneurysms are essential. Oxford Endovascular is a great example of collaboration between physicians and engineers to improve patient treatment.”
The device was developed with support from the Wellcome Trust, Technikos and the University. Oxford Endovascular aims to complete development and begin manufacturing the device before moving into clinical trials and applying for regulatory approval in major markets.
Media enquiries to:
Isis Innovation Ltd
T: +44(0)1865 280867
About Isis Innovation
Isis Innovation Ltd. is the research and technology commercialisation company of the University of Oxford. We provide access to technology from Oxford researchers through intellectual property licensing, spin-out company formation and material sales, and to academic expertise through Oxford University Consulting.
Isis Innovation is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked 1st in the UK for university spin-outs, having created over 110 new companies in 25 years. In the last financial year we completed 529 licenses and consulting agreements. Isis Enterprise, our innovation management consultancy, works with university, government and industrial clients from offices around the world.
Isis Innovation was named ‘Technology Transfer Unit of the Year 2014’ by Global University Venturing and in 2015 Isis Enterprise was awarded a Queens Award for Enterprise (International Trade).
About Oxford Endovascular
Oxford Endovascular Limited is a medical device company spinout from Oxford University developing a next generation flow-diverter for the minimally invasive treatment of intracranial aneurysms preventing death or disability due to brain haemorrhage. James Byrne, a Professor of Neuroradiology at the John Radcliffe Hospital and Zhong You, a Professor in the Department of Engineering Science came up with the design to treat areas of unmet clinical need by offering advantages over existing technologies such as more accurate deployment and improved vessel wall apposition, access to more deep brain blood vessels and reduce the risks of occluding branched arteries thus treating more patients safely and effectively.
The Oxford Endovascular device uses modern materials and clever folding techniques. It has been tested using computer models of the way blood moves through vessels to optimise the design, and successful preclinical testing has shown that the device is likely to work in the body.
The company has raised an initial £2m from investment companies, Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC, Parkwalk Advisors and other private investors to take the device through clinical trials, and ultimately aims to treat thousands of patients worldwide. It is now building its infrastructure and team to take the device towards gaining CE mark and other regulatory approvals enabling access to markets around the world.
Oxford Endovascular Ltd will be using funds raised to commercialise a unique next generation Flow Diverter, Oxiflow, for the minimally invasive treatment of intracranial aneurysms preventing death or disability due to brain hemorrhage. Oxiflow will treat areas of unmet clinical need by offering a device that has significant competitive advantages versus currently available devices. The Endovascular Cerebral Aneurysms Repair (ECAR) market is valued at $980 million and expected to grow at 5% per year, reaching $1.4 billion by 2020.