A SCOTTISH medical technology firm has called for greater adoption of home-made scientific research in the NHS as it prepares to launch a major initiative to sell an acne treatment device in the lucrative US market in the second half of next year.
Edinburgh-based Ambicare has come close to raising £1.4 million in a fresh round of fundraising aimed at investing in new markets since its chief executive, Paul Donnelly, joined the firm in April.
Donnelly said the firm’s Lustre Pure Light device for treating acne in adults is set to double the initial expected sales this year as specialist skin clinics have adopted the device – which retails at £350 – to sell to customers.
He said the firm expected to make the device available to 100 clinics in the UK this year, but already that figure has been surpassed and the business is on track to have 200 clinics on board. The firm will submit a regulatory application to sell Lustre in the US next month.
Donnelly has predicted that the Lustre product, which uses “photo dynamic therapy” (PDT) to treat unsightly blemishes, will make up 70 per cent of the firm’s sales in the near term. Overall sales of Lustre and the company’s original PDT skin cancer treatment, the Ambulight, will see sales hit the £1m mark next year, leading Donnelly to confidently predict the firm will break even in the second half of 2013.
The Ambulight – developed at Ninewells hospital in Dundee – is selling well, but only in England.
The Ambulight treatment reduces costs for health authorities by 40 to 50 per cent because the devices – which replace large PDT lamps that cost between £30,000 and £35,000 each – can be used by patients at home.
Ambicare has successfully sold the Ambulight to three NHS health authorities in England, with a further nine deals currently being negotiated.
But in Scotland, the device is still not available to skin cancer sufferers despite recent pledges by health minister Nicola Sturgeon to use more Scottish-developed health technology in hospitals.
He admits it is “ironic” that the technology is being more easily adopted in England and in European markets such as France and Holland than in its own back garden.
He said: “It is frustrating when you know you have a solution, and everyone is talking about how you save money, and there is inertia in the system. We are now try to find the right pilot in Scotland to make it happen.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west