Public Release: 

Technology to prevent pneumonia in intensive care patients wins 2011 Medical Futures Award

Ground-breaking idea from Dr. Art Tucker recognized as potential medical treatment of tomorrow

Queen Mary University of London

London, Monday 6th June, 2011: A team from Queen Mary, University of London and Barts and The London NHS Trust has been named overall winner in the Respiratory Innovation category at the Medical Futures Innovation Awards, Europe's leading showcase of early-stage innovation in healthcare.

The award was presented by TV executive, Michael Mosley at a high profile ceremony in central London in front of 700 leaders in medicine, politics and business. The event was hosted by comedian Rory Bremner and Dynasty actress Emma Samms, founder of the children's charity Starlight.

The research team, most recently co-ordinated by Dr Joanne Stewart from Queen Mary, University of London invented a Nitric Oxide generating technology for prevention of ventilator associated pneumonia in intensive care patients. The system simply replaces the natural defence molecules which are critically low in these patients, and protects against infection. It is able to penetrate into the body tissues, and kills a wide variety of infective agents, including MRSA and E. Coli.

Inventor Dr Art Tucker, also from Queen Mary and St. Bart's hospital said; "The nitric oxide team - collaboration between Queen Mary, University of London and Barts and The London NHS Trust - is delighted to have won a 2011 Medical Futures Innovations Award. It recognises the strength of medical innovation within our Institutions and the commitment of the team. The invention and development of the nitric oxide systems has been the product of 10 years of intensive research. Further, this technology has broad potential in a range of medical and non-medical applications such as wound care and infection control. We are pleased to have the support of Exidomed Ltd, as our licensing partner to support the commercial development of these exciting innovations. We hope that the recognition of this award will assist and encourage external investment and collaboration."

Charles Hinds, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at Barts and The London NHS Trust and Clinical Academic Lead on the project said: "The Trust is thrilled to receive this prestigious award. Although early days in the development of this application of the technology, we anticipate that it will significantly shorten the patient's stay in the Intensive Care Unit, significantly reduce NHS costs and, most importantly, could save many lives."

A Medical Futures Innovation Award is one of Europe's most prestigious healthcare and business accolades, rewarding innovative ideas from front line clinicians, scientists and entrepreneurs.

Medical Futures' founder Dr Andy Goldberg OBE, consultant surgeon at London's Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and a senior academic for University College London said: "The winners were chosen by a panel of distinguished experts from the thousands of entries received and they deserve every success for their creativity, commercial viability, and most importantly potential impact on patients.

"I continue to be excited by the inspiration and sheer drive and determination shown by all of our entrants, many of whom are working with patients day to day so they see first-hand what is needed - sometimes it's the simplest ideas that are the real breakthroughs."

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For further information contact:
Alex Fernandes
Communications Office
Queen Mary, University of London
Tel: 020 7882 7910
a.fernandes@qmul.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

On Monday 6th June between 11am and 3pm, the 2011 winning teams and some of the Awards past winners will showcase their ideas and be interviewed on stage by Michael Mosley, the former doctor and widely known TV presenter at the awards location Old Billingsgate, 1 Old Billingsgate Walk, 16 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6DX. www.oldbillingsgate.co.uk.

Media interviews and filming can be arranged with the winners by contacting the Medical Futures' media team: Annie Wright on: +44 (0)20 8332 6200; +44 (0) 776 965 1942 (mobile); ann.wright@tudor-reilly.com or Chris Fowler on: +44 (0)20 8946 8666; +44(0) 771 917 2225 (mobile); chris.fowler@tudor-reilly.com.

About Medical Futures

The Medical Futures Awards are run on a not-for-profit basis to help turn ideas into tangible real-world solutions to improve clinical outcomes for patients and provide cost-saving benefits.

The Awards started in 2001 and since then, past winners have secured over £100m in funding, and most importantly many have gone onto become successful services or products that are now changing peoples' lives.

By entering the awards, front line clinicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs have the chance to pitch their ideas and businesses to a world-class panel of experts whose advice, guidance and peer-review brings unparalleled validation.

From thousands of entries, the top 100 teams were invited to pitch to Dragon's Den style judging panels of some of the world's most distinguished and respected doctors, scientists and commercial experts, including the likes of Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS and Professor Martin Rothman, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Medtronic Inc.

The Medical Futures judging is the world's only completely transparent process of peer review, in which the winners are chosen based on three criteria: novelty, viability and benefits to patient care.

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