The European Commission has granted Innokas Medical almost €700 000 of funding. The funding was granted to Innokas from the Horizons 2020 Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) pilot, which provides funding for bottom-up proposals for close-to-market innovation activities in any area of technology or application, and the aim is to reduce time from idea to market.
Innokas Medical is a partner in a consortium led by Otivio to develop the next version of FlowOx™, a clinically promising, patented and cost-efficient home treatment solution for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The market potential for FlowOx is extremely high as peripheral arterial disease affects more than 200 million people globally, and the patient population is increasing at a rate of 20% per annum due to an aging population and epidemic growth of diabetes. The global costs of treating PAD amount to $210-380 billion annually.
“It is great to be part of the team developing the next version of FlowOx. This reminds me how important and meaningful our work in the health tech industry is. Together with other partners, we will develop a system that can improve the quality of daily life for millions of people. Through this innovation we can contribute to improving healthcare all over the world”, says Tommi Kaasalainen, Executive Vice President at Innokas Medical.
Peripheral Artery Disease is caused by the deposition of fatty material on the inner walls of peripheral arteries, reducing perfusion and nutrition to the muscles and skin. The non-invasive FlowOx™ system is based on negative pulsating pressure therapy, and it increases blood flow, pain reduction and wound healing in feet and legs, in order to prevent amputations and increase life quality.
Co-operation across borders
The consortium consists of partners from Norway, Finland and the UK. Otivio is the owner of FlowOx™ IP and the main coordinator of the consortium. Innokas Medical is responsible for design and manufacturing, and the University of Salford and Bangor University are responsible for clinical trials and evaluations, and health economic evaluations.
Otivio and Innokas started design and manufacturing-related co-operation earlier this year, when Innokas became the manufacturer of Otivio’s current FlowOx™ system. Otivio was first introduced to Innokas by HotSwap, a leading medical and IVD equipment design services provider in Norway, Sweden and Germany and part of the French Alten Group. HotSwap and Innokas started a strategic partnership in 2014 and this project with Otivio and the other partners is a direct result of this partnership. HotSwap is also participating in the design of the new FlowOx™.
“We are happy about having received the Fast Track grant together with the consortium that we created for our project. With the selected partners, the development of our new product will benefit from a very strong base of clinical and technical expertise. The co-operation with Innokas has started very well, as expected”, says Andreas Mollatt, CEO at Otivio AS.
The FlowOx consortium was granted over 2M€ funding. Kaasalainen believes that especially Innokas’ proven OEM-level capability to develop and mass-manufacture medical equipment for the global market and take care of related regulatory matters made the competitive position of the FlowOx consortium’s grant application stronger.
“I believe that our combination of design, manufacturing and regulatory capabilities convinced the evaluators of the Horizons 2020 Fast Track to Innovation grant. The team at Innokas has broad experience of transforming health tech ideas to finished medical equipment, mass-manufacture these for the global market, and take care of all quality and regulatory matters. A good reference of such capabilities is our VC150 Vital Signs Patient Monitor that is distributed globally by GE Healthcare. In addition to product development and manufacturing, Innokas is also responsible for regulatory approvals for the monitor in EU, USA and other countries. These capabilities now create value for Otivio and our other customers”, Kaasalainen says.
The newly established partnership between Otivio and Innokas is a significant step in developing Innokas position on the Nordic market, as Otivio is Innokas first customer in Norway. Innokas has customers now in Finland, Sweden and Norway.