UBC Spin-off Company Arbutus Medical Receives $1 Million to Expand in Asia and AfricaThursday, August 11, 2016
Projects in Vancouver, Waterloo, Hamilton, Ottawa, Kingston, Montreal to Receive Next-Step Scale-Up Funding From Grand Challenges Canada
Six Canadian Innovations Scaling Up to Improve Global Health
Vancouver, BC, August 11, 2016--(T-Net)--BC-based Arbutus Medical is among six Canadian innovations showing evidence of early promise for improving global health and which will "transition-to-scale" thanks to new support from Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada.
The new investments, matched by a wide range of partners, will enable the innovators to advance the development of their technologies and deploy them further throughout the developing world.
Among the 6 companies receiving investments is UBC spin-off company Arbutus Medical who will receive $1 million for a novel medical device revolutionizing orthopaedic surgery in the developing world.
The device will be launched in new markets through Grand Challenges Canada's support, allowing hospitals to improve infection control and help thousands of patients to avoid permanent disability, according to the company.
Details on the project by Arbutus Medical being funded are listed below:
Drill Cover: Novel cover enables safe use of low-cost hardware drills in surgery
Arbutus Medical / Vancouver, BC (Implementation Regions: East Africa and India) $1 million
A novel medical device revolutionizing orthopaedic surgery in the developing world will be launched in new markets through Grand Challenges Canada's support, allowing hospitals to improve infection control and help thousands of patients to avoid permanent disability.
This product is now FDA listed in the US and has treated over 10,000 patients across 14 countries.
The Drill Cover, developed by Arbutus Medical, a Vancouver-based global health tech startup, is surgical grade, sterilizable, reusable, waterproof, and blood and pathogen resistant.
It envelops a low-cost hardware store drill, enabling its safe use for bone surgery -- presenting a significantly more accessible alternative to surgical drills priced up to $30,000.
In low- and middle-income countries, basic surgical care has the potential to play a major role in reducing the burden of injuries. However, 5 billion patients do not have access to safe surgical care. Lack of access to affordable care is a significant barrier for many hospitals trying to provide surgical care to thousands of patients.
Surgical drills are often not available in resource-constrained areas, forcing hospitals to resort to inefficient and dangerous "hand-crank" drills, or improvise with nonsterile construction drills.
In clinical tests comparing the Drill Cover innovation to hand drills, also funded by Grand Challenges Canada's Stars in Global Health program, the Drill Cover shortened surgical time by nearly 30 minutes per case, while surgeons reported fewer problems during bone drilling tasks.
With new transition-to-scale funding from Grand Challenges Canada and partners, Arbutus has completed remaining product refinements, successfully achieved FDA listing in the US, and is currently scaling the product across East Africa and India, while developing new products for tools such as surgical saws.
Arbutus' primary focus is on hospitals and surgeons in low- and middle-income countries, but has complementary opportunities with disaster/conflict relief organizations, veterinary surgeons, and military hospitals.
Arbutus is collaborating closely on scaling this product with distribution partners such as Crown Healthcare Africa, working on market strategy implementation in India with Intellecap, and is supported through mentorship by Edmonton-based medical device company priMED Medical Products.
"These Bold Ideas with Big Impact show how innovation can accelerate international development to save and improve the lives of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people," said Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. "Canadians are an innovative people -- as these Canadian innovators demonstrate."
About Grand Challenges Canada
Since launching in 2010, Grand Challenges Canada has supported a pipeline of over 700 innovations in more than 80 countries, including 70 "transition-to-scale" investments.
Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada and we support innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation -- we call this Integrated Innovation®. Grand Challenges Canada focuses on innovator-defined challenges through its Stars in Global Health program and on targeted challenges in its Saving Lives at Birth, Saving Brains and Global Mental Health programs. Grand Challenges Canada works closely with Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Global Affairs Canada to catalyze scale, sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives.
For more information, visit grandchallenges.ca and look for us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Grand Challenges Canada
T. +1 (416) 673-6542 / +1 (647) 328-2021
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