Press Release . Oxford based Perspectum Diagnostic expands with new UK and US offices
Oxford based Perspectum Diagnostic expands with new UK and US offices
Article by Edwin Karinga | 03.11.2016
1. What does your company do?
We have created a medical device that removes the need for costly and painful liver biopsies called LiverMultiScan. It’s a new way of assessing disease in the liver by measuring the amount of fat, iron, fibrosis and inflammation of the liver in the same scan.
In September, the British Medical Journal published a health economic model which showed that use of the new scan could save the NHS over £500 per patient who is suspected of having liver disease; over 5% of the general population is known to have liver disease.
2. Why did you select Oxford Centre for Innovation (OCFI) managed by Oxford Innovation, as the base for your business?
Through being based at OCFI, we were automatically surrounded by other technology and medical organisations as the set-up appeals to people in similar industries. Being located in central Oxford is also extremely important for recruiting high calibre staff.
When we first moved to OCFI, Perspectum was at an early phase of innovation. We have since been able to expand the business within OCFI, avoiding costly overheads associated with office moves and traditional office leases.
3. Why did you start working with Oxford Innovation?
I first met Oxford Innovation advisors at a workshop I attended in Oxford to assist in writing grant applications for Horizon 2020 funding. Through their support and ability to humanise the application process, we were successful in winning €3.4million of funding through the SME Instrument to help with the EU adoption of our LiverMultiScan. In addition, we were awarded a further €1.1million of Eurostars funding to our R&D portfolio with a company in Poland to develop centralised analysis and diagnostics for complex paediatric liver disease.
4. How have you found the process?
From attending the workshop, assisting us in writing our grant applications, getting to know our business, providing us with trusted market research, through to connecting us with companies to form mutually beneficial collaborations, there has been nothing left unturned and the process has been incredibly easy!
People like Triin Udris, Eileen Modral and Jakub Racozy, who are all Innovation Advisors, are a benefit to any business.
5. What are the business benefits?
If we hadn’t of worked with Oxford Innovation advisors, we would have perhaps managed to submit one Horizon 2020 application but certainly wouldn’t have been awarded two grants in the same year!
The SME Instrument grant has assisted us with the adoption of the LiverMultiScan device. We have already opened two US offices, as it is a country where they are more open to change and keen to utilise technological advances in healthcare.
Our Innovation Advisor has also been able to reach out to his extended network across Europe to provide us with contacts for our health economic study for Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. This clinical trial will determine how cost-effective LiverMultiScan is in those countries where there are healthcare services based on insurance, socialised medicine or a mixture of both.
In addition to the adoption of LiverMultiScan, our R&D portfolio has been accelerated. Our Innovation Advisor connected Perspectum to a software company in Poland. This has resulted in us forming a successful partnership with the Children’s Memorial Healthcare Hospital in Warsaw, along with software company, SilverMedia, to create a new way of diagnosing liver disease in children.
Due to the success of LiverMultiScan and our rapid growth, our Innovation Advisor identified that we needed help with change management to ensure everyone is kept aware of the speed and concept within the whole group.
6. What insights did you gain from using Oxford Innovation’s GROWTHmapper tool?
It has provided us with 360-degree feedback, enabling us to identify our strengths and address areas that were perceived to be weak; for example, we have improved our environmental credentials. We also promoted a member of the team after reviewing GROWTHmapper feedback on our organisational structure.
7. What advice would you give to an ambitious business that wants to scale and develop international partnerships?
Look for situations where both partners can win and take it forward. If using our work in Poland as an example, SilverMedia has benefitted from being introduced to the medical market and we have benefitted from linking with a software company. Together, we have created a telemedicine solution.
There is no need for British businesses to hold back. The University of Oxford has the best medical school globally yet Harvard has more University spin-outs. The US has a more supportive culture for innovation and we need to be more like that. Be ambitious!
8. Where do you see Perspectum Diagnostics in five years time?
I would like us to be the provider of choice to diagnose liver disease in the US, UK and Europe with our R&D portfolio progressing to help Perspectum move into the cancer space.
9. How will Oxford Innovation help to achieve your business goals?
Europe is a rapidly changing market, not least in terms of BREXIT. People like Jakub, Triin and Eileen will always be a benefit to businesses. They are resourceful, knowledgeable and dynamic. Their extended network is invaluable in terms of finding credible partners and providing us with market critical information.
I honestly believe that I could say to somebody like Jakub that I wanted to sell oats in Mongolia and if he didn’t already know the market, he would be able to reach out to somebody who did and would be telling me everything I needed to know within a week!