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Team from Queen Mary, University of London Win Medical Futures Innovation Award 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 team had previously received ‘Best Blue Sky Idea in Respiratory Innovations,’ for their pneumonia preventing invention.

The award was presented by TV executive, Michael Mosley at a high profile ceremony in central London on 6 June 2011 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.

How Nitric Oxide generating technology can prevent ventilator associated pneumonia in intensive care patients
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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."

Atholl Johnston, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Queen Mary, University of London was academic lead for the proof of concept studies which Dr Nina Ravić carried out during her PhD.

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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