Cúram to enable faster access to medical devices in new EU research project

4 Mar 2019

Image: NUI Galway

Galway-based research centre Cúram to make innovative solutions more accessible to patients as part of a new EU research project.

Science Foundation Ireland research centre Cúram is part of a new EU research project that aims to support European medtech companies in global competition by reducing the time to market of high-risk medical devices.

The research project is a testbed for high-risk medical devices (TBMED) and it will provide expert support from the early stages of development for medical devices of risk classification IIb and higher.

Cúram, based in NUI Galway, is one of 13 European partners in the TBMED project. The project has received €8.5m in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and will run for a period of more than four years.

The project aims to tackle two of the most pressing issues in the EU healthcare system: the large variation in patient diagnosis and continually increasing costs. Regulations surrounding high-risk medical devices provide even greater challenges in these areas, particularly for smaller production companies.

‘A real and lasting impact’

Prof Abhay Pandit is the scientific director at Cúram. He said the TBMED research project will have “a real and lasting impact” on patient access to medical devices. “Partnering in this project provides a valuable opportunity for Cúram to assist in strengthening the growth and development of SMEs in Ireland,” he said.

The testbed will help companies to accelerate the development of medical devices, reduce their time to market and offer additional business management services. TBMED will use three very different case studies to build the testbed: GlycoBone, keratoprosthesis and new magnetic nanoparticle devices to improve cancer treatments based on hyperthermia.

These different cases will facilitate the development of a testbed suitable for a broad range of applications in the field, turning TBMED into a one-stop shop providing medtech companies with open access at fair conditions.

Iraida Loinaz from Fundación CIDETEC Nanomedicine, who coordinates the TBMED project, said the aim is to make their approach sustainable through the strategic involvement of existing European clusters. “Our aim is to strengthen the growth and development of SMEs in many different regions and increase their chances of success by bringing them in contact with potential investors interested in new products,” she said.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic