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July 11, 2017

Drayson will develop digital health tools for UK universities

UK based Drayson Technologies has entered a 5-year Strategic Research Agreement (SRA) with the the University of Oxford (OU) and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) in the field of digital health. The three organizations will join forces in developing digital health products based on research from Oxford Biomedical Research Center and funded by the National Institute for Health Research. Drayson is a healthcare IoT company.

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Millions of NHS patients are set to benefit from the commercialisation of cutting edge technologies invented in Oxford, according to a press release by Drayson. The University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals developed and trialled the technologies in the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

Benefits for NHS patients

Underpinned by the University’s academic research excellence, engineering expertise and the Trust’s clinical validation, the SRA is supposed to create a pathway for the production of digital health products, commercialised globally by Drayson Technologies.

The SRA should ensure that the technologies can be commercialised so that they can bring benefit to patients across the NHS and overseas. It also means that some of the profits will come back into the NHS Trust and University of Oxford to benefit more patients and fund more research –the aim and ambition of the NIHR when it funded the BRCs across the country. Drayson Technologies will sponsor further research and clinical validation of new digital health products over the next 5 years.

SRA means more research funds

The University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will receive in aggregate £5m worth of equity in Drayson Technologies as part of the Series C funding round. The SRA builds on the exclusive licensing agreement between Drayson Technologies and Oxford University for the SEND, GDm-Health and EDGE digital health products, which was announced earlier this year. The SRA provides Drayson Technologies with an option to license IP developed by Professor Lionel Tarassenko and certain collaborators in the field of digital health.

To support the SRA, Drayson Technologies has raised a £10m Series C investment led by investor Woodford Investment Management. Drayson Technologies has raised over £41m to date and this most recent round of investment will enable it to continue its mission to understand the health of a individual in the context of their environment and generate actionable information and discoveries that improve health and reduce healthcare costs.

Pathway from invention to commercialisation

According to Lord Paul Drayson, Chairman and CEO, Drayson Technologies, chronic disease affects the lives of millions of people in the UK alone, as well as accounting for around 70% of NHS costs. “Digital health technologies offer the potential to make a huge difference for these people and save money for the NHS. This highly innovative partnership will ensure that there is a pathway from invention to commercialisation for digital health products created in Oxford that will deliver benefits to patients and reinvestment back into the University and the NHS Trust."

Professor Lionel Tarassenko is Head of the Department of Engineering Science, whose research group developed the digital health products in partnership with the OUH Trust. He states that their work with wearables, smart devices, and machine learning algorithms has enabled the delivery of real-time, personalised healthcare to patients where it is most needed, from the hospital to the home. “The partnership with Drayson Technologies gives us a unique opportunity to accelerate the development and deployment of these digital health products across a wide spectrum of conditions."

Re-investing royalties in research

Peter Knight, Chief Information and Digital Officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, adds that "that working together will allow all parties involved to bring technologies that are invented and developed together to patients faster. “We will also be able to reinvest royalties from the results of research and development created in the partnership of the University and NHS back into our services for the benefit of our patients.”

Dr Paul Ashley, Head of Technology Transfer, Life Sciences at Oxford University Innovation says that

the Strategic agreement will allow the university to build on the existing licensing agreements between Drayson and Oxford University Innovation. “Combining the innovation and insight of the Department of Engineering Science and the Trust with the resources and expertise of Drayson Technologies provides great opportunity for new groundbreaking technologies that could have a significant impact on healthcare around the world.”

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