newseventsimagesImperial College London has been awarded funding to establish a centre of excellence in medical technology.

The National Institute for Health Research has awarded over £1.3 million to host the NIHR London In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR London IVD Co-operative).

The centre in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS TrustRoyal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, will develop new devices and tests that can be used to treat NHS patients and beyond.

Researchers and clinicians at the centre will work closely with patients to identify where there is need for new diagnostics such as Point of Care Tests (POCTs), which are performed at or near to the patient, rather than in the laboratory.   They will also work with industry to improve the effectiveness of current tests and devices, and provide research on their impact.

Research at the NIHR London IVD Co-operative will focus on nine clinical areas where there is a need for rapid and accurate diagnostics. They are:

  • Gastrointestinal
  • Cancer
  • Haematology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Respiratory
  • Emergency care
  • Trauma and Critical care
  • Primary care
  • Metabolic medicine

Professor George Hanna, Head of the Division of Surgery, who is leading the new centre, said:

“It is great news that the NIHR has awarded the College funding for our new centre. We aim to be at the forefront of medical innovation and this funding will allow us to do this.

“The new centre will harness the expertise of researchers from across the College’s faculties, clinicians from our NHS partner trusts and industry to take scientific innovations to the clinic. This funding will help us address key health challenges facing the UK so that we can improve patient outcomes and ultimately save more lives.”

Dr Louise Wood, Director of Science, Research and Evidence at the Department of Health, added:

“The funding received by the 11 NIHR Medtech and IVD Co-operatives will make a real difference to patients’ lives and provide a focal point for the medtech and in vitro diagnostic industries to develop new technologies and generate the evidence needed by the NHS to support the uptake of new tests.”

The NIHR London IVD Co-operative is one of 11 NIHR Medtech and IVD Co-operatives (MICs) in the UK.  It will replace the current  Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative London (DEC) based at Imperial.  

Some of DEC’s achievements include:

  • a breath test to diagnose oesophageal and gastric cancer in minutes
  • a test to determine the placement of feeding tubes for safe feeding
  • a device to diagnose coagulopathy, a condition where the blood’s ability to form clots is impaired

Funding for the NIHR London IVD Co-operative will begin on 1 January 2018 for five years.