Reinventing urological devices
Sooba Medical has devised novel urological stents and catheters; flexible tubes used as a temporary solution by clinicians to assist with the drainage of urine in urinary tract obstructions caused by stones, tumours, or strictures. This innovation is set to improve patients’ quality of life while generating significant savings, increasing capacity and reducing hospital acquired infections across the NHS.
Founder Ali Mosayyebi explains why this is so important. “Urological devices are used extensively across healthcare services. Considering only onco-urological patients, over 30,000 stents are inserted every year across the NHS. Unfortunately, the majority of these poorly designed urological devices cause patients inflammation and discomfort, risking further infection leading to stent failure. Thus, each patient undergoes an average of three replacements annually (in extreme cases up to six), resulting in over 90,000 stent replacements. These procedures require general anesthetics, with each intervention costing the NHS around £4,000, bringing the total cost of replacements to ~£360 million annually.”
Sooba Medical has used its bespoke and scientifically informed testing platform to develop novel and improved urological stents that solve these issues for both patient and healthcare provider. Offering stents that are less prone to failure reduces stent replacements to one per patient annually, creating savings of more than £200m per annum. In turn, the reduction in admissions and bed-nights enables hospitals to treat new patients.
Sooba Medical joined Southampton Science Park’s Catalyst business accelerator programme in the autumn at a point where it had successfully produced a first prototype and performed a very successful pre-clinical trial.
Ali continued: “The challenge for us moving forward was to acquire the necessary skills to commercialise a medical device. This included expanding my knowledge of regulatory approvals, CE/UKCA marking, NICE approvals and raising funds to cover manufacturing costs.
“That’s why I was very excited and humbled to be selected for Southampton Science Park’s Catalyst business accelerator as it will allow me to further my learning from expert business developers and other company founders at a similar stage to me. On completion, I hope to have setup the backbone of a business with a business plan in place and be ready to raise investment to move forward with this important product.”