News from PSP…
PSP-based company, Ploughshare Innovations, announces revolutionary diagnostic sepsis test for coronavirus
23 June 2020
MOD funds predictive sepsis test for coronavirus patients
Dstl spin-out company, Ploughshare Innovations, funds revolutionary test that can predict whether coronavirus patients will develop sepsis before symptoms appear.
Ploughshare Innovations, a Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) spin-out company, has funded the development of a revolutionary test that has the potential to predict whether coronavirus patients will develop sepsis before symptoms appear.
£200,000 of initial seed funding has been awarded to Presymptom Health, a medical diagnostics company in Wiltshire founded by scientists to develop ground-breaking innovations in the medical testing arena.
The sepsis research is based on 10 years of work conducted at Dstl. This research suggests the test will be able to determine whether a patient will develop sepsis up to three days before symptoms appear. The prediction will provide extra time to deliver the optimal treatment, thus improving patient recovery rates and reducing treatment costs.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:
“It is encouraging to see Dstl partnering with the private sector to spearhead vital scientific knowledge that will help many coronavirus patients during this pandemic.
“Dstl scientists are some of the UK’s best and brightest minds. We are grateful for their commitment to developing powerful medical technology that will save lives across the country.”
The first phase for developing the prototype diagnostic test will last six months. This will include trials with coronavirus patients and testing samples from a Dstl biobank. Up to 300 patients are expected to be involved in the trial, with a further 200 samples from the biobank being used to establish the test’s effectiveness.
Gary Aitkenhead, Chief Executive of Dstl, said:
“The work we do at Dstl is fundamental to the defence and security of the UK and we are constantly seeking ways in which our technologies can be applied to deliver impact to the wider society.
“Here, we have a unique concept that has the potential to improve the lives of thousands and Dstl is proud to be the science behind this novel development.”
Roman Lukaszewski, lead scientist on the sepsis work at Dstl, said:
“This funding is fantastic news. It will see a programme of work that is backed by the most comprehensive Sepsis study ever conducted and one that I have personally been involved with for more than 10 years finally come to fruition. It will be an amazing achievement and will have benefits for the treatment of Sepsis on a global scale.”
Presymptom Health will recruit a core external team from industry who will provide general management, clinical project management, regulatory and quality assurance and key R&D diagnostic development skills. The test prototype itself will be developed by expert technicians. The team will operate from offices at Porton Science Park and the London area.
Iain Miller, Presymptom Health’s CEO, said:
“This is a significant step to help in the fight against coronavirus. Presymptom Health develops new tests to determine the presence of diseases in patients before they show symptoms.
“Having the opportunity to leverage Dstl’s ground-breaking work and apply this Sepsis technology to aid clinicians dealing with the pandemic is deeply important to us. We are confident this technology will provide vital and life-saving information when it is most needed.”
Ploughshare Innovations is the technology transfer office for Dstl and is responsible for the commercialisation of the test. Ploughshare has established Presymptom Health as the vehicle for getting the tests to market.
Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, Ploughshare’s CEO, said:
“It is unusual for Ploughshare to make investments such as this, however, given how much potential this technology has we saw the value in accelerating its development.
“Beyond coronavirus, the test will have the potential to help with the treatment of the 49 million people worldwide affected by Sepsis every year, and to also prepare us for future pandemics.”
Sepsis has been linked to a number of coronavirus fatalities. A recent Lancet article which analysed the outbreak in Wuhan, China, found that sepsis was the most frequently observed complication and that all Wuhan patients who lost their lives to coronavirus by February 2020 had sepsis.
For more information about Ploughshare Innovations - https://www.ploughshareinnovations.com/
20 February 2020
PSP is set to gain international recognition after it was awarded a coveted Life Sciences Opportunity Zone status. It was one of only six sites in the UK out of dozens that applied, which were successfully granted the status.
Life Sciences Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The UK is home to one of the strongest, most vibrant health and life science industries globally, with discoveries and improvements in health diagnosis transforming people’s lives.
“Collaboration is vital to growing this sector and this new £10million scheme will support the exchanging of ideas, knowledge and skills between researchers and businesses while encouraging strong collaboration with them, the NHS and the Government.”
The Government scheme allows partners on the site to showcase the capabilities of the Porton Down Science Campus to an international audience, particularly overseas Life Sciences companies looking to expand into the UK.
PSP, unveiled a couple of years ago, is a new addition to the established Porton Down Science Campus which is home to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Public Health England, Porton.
Located near Salisbury in south Wiltshire, the first phase of the science park included new incubation and grow-on space totalling 3,950m2.
The science park’s current building houses everything from Life Sciences, Pharma and Bioscience to Defence Technology – https://www.portonsciencepark.com/tenants/
The first phase of development at PSP was funded by Wiltshire Council, the local Growth Fund via the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the European Structural and Investment Fund.
Cllr Philip Whitehead, leader of Wiltshire Council says: “Porton Science Park is attracting the brightest and best and is building a reputation as a place where ground-breaking research into Life Sciences and Technology is taking place”
He added that the new status was “an opportunity for this jewel in Wiltshire’s crown to be on an international stage bringing high skilled jobs to the county and a real boost to Wiltshire’s economy.”
Paddy Bradley, Director of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), added: “It will support our efforts in promoting the world class capabilities at Porton to an international audience, bringing more highly skilled jobs to the south Wiltshire area.”
Professor Andy Bell, Chief Technical Officer at Dstl said: “Dstl is committed to the successful development of the Porton Science Park and wider campus. The Porton Science Park development complements our own facilities and further secures the campus as a centre of excellence.”
Alex Sienkiewicz, Director of Corporate Affairs for Public Health England, Porton, said: “We congratulate Porton Science Park colleagues on securing this prestigious award and the undoubted benefits and opportunities that it will bring for all campus partners, including increased international promotion of our collective world-class capabilities.”
Cara Charles-Barks, Chief Executive Officer, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust commented: “Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust fully supports this announcement. Life Sciences Opportunity Zone status will benefit our community and Salisbury hospital, by attracting and retaining the best people in live and work here. This is a major step forwards in making Salisbury a centre of excellence for health, which I welcome.”
07 January 2020
Wiltshire Council’s cabinet has today agreed to invest £2.5m of capital funding to create an Innovation Centre at PSP. A further £2.5m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will combine to create a second building that will add expansion space, additional employment from the scheme, and enable an economy of scale.
Once completed, the new Innovation Centre, which constitutes phase two of the site’s development project, will provide specialist business support, training and development for scientific businesses on the Porton Down Science Campus.
This will help ensure that businesses already situated at PSP will be able to stay on-site to share support and specialist technologies.
The initial £2.5m of the Council’s capital funding matches the £2.5m of ERDF for the project, which will not be affected by Brexit, and is subject to the confirmation of the Council’s matched funding.
Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “Porton Science Park has been a real success for south Wiltshire, bringing high value employment to the area and consolidating it as a nationally important centre of excellence in specialist health, life science and defence and security sectors.
“The new Innovation Centre, which we hope will begin construction later in 2020, will build on the success of the first building at PSP, and enable business there to share resources and technologies, and establish links to higher education institutions, researchers and academics.”
PSP opened in January 2018 on the Porton Down Science Campus which is also home to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Public Health England (PHE) Porton.
PSP’s first building already has more than 130 people working from the site.
The first £10m phase opened with funding from Wiltshire Council, the local Growth Fund and the ERDF working closely with the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).
Please contact PSP for more information about future tenancy opportunities in the Innovation Centre.