MicroBioSensor announces development plans following £1.4m investment

University of Manchester spin-off receives funding boost to begin clinical trials on new device for people with kidney failure undergoing peritoneal dialysis

Dr Gordon Barker, chief executive of MicroBioSensor has welcomed the £1.4m finance package

A University of Manchester spin-out behind a medical device designed to detect life-threatening infections will kick off its first clinical trial following a £1.4m investment boost.

Through its ‘iPad mini-sized device’; MicroBioSensor aims to help people with kidney failure undergoing peritoneal dialysis.

Based at The University of Manchester’s Innovation Centre, UMIC; MicroBioSensor recently secured £1.4m worth of equity finance from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) and Catapult Ventures.

Chief executive, Dr Gordon Barker, said: “2018 is going to be a very important year for our 11-strong team as we look to successfully run our first clinical trial, which will last through to the second quarter of 2019.

“Essentially, this is all about detecting potentially life-threatening infections early to improve treatment outcomes.”

Essentially, this is all about detecting potentially life-threatening infections early to improve treatment outcomes

Dr Barker said that of the 50,000-60,000 people in the UK on renal replacement therapy, less than 10% are on peritoneal dialysis.

“One of the reasons for that is people are worried about infection in the peritoneal cavity around their gut, as it will kill you if it’s left untreated,” he said.

“Our device plugs into the equipment that dialysis patients use every day and detects emerging infections in this space, which potentially means keeping people on peritoneal dialysis for longer, which is a good thing.

“If the clinical trial goes well we’ll be able to start selling the medical device for use in hospitals and clinics, which also saves the NHS money.

“The idea is that eventually it will be used at home by patients as our technology is so simple that a non specialist can use it with confidence.

If the clinical trial goes well we’ll be able to start selling the medical device for use in hospitals and clinics, which also saves the NHS money

“You are essentially looking at a window on the device for a colour change. If it’s a pale green everything is ok; if it goes to a dark purple colour, you know you have a problem. The idea is to flag that problem at a pre-symptomatic stage.

“You then go straight to the doctor rather than waiting to fall ill.”

MicroBioSensor has so far also been funded through transitional funding and grants, including £125,000 from UMIP, £100,000 from Spark Impact and £983,000 from innovate UK.

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