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Scottish spin-out receives £0.5M cash injection to revolutionise heart condition treatment

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition which is highly prevalent in the elderly population causing fatigue, breathlessness and higher risk of stroke, its management consumes around 1% of the total NHS budget in the UK.

The Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest biomedical charity, has awarded £0.5M to Scottish spin-out company CardioDigital Ltd. As the leading providers of custom solutions for medical electronic devices, CardioDigital Ltd is now set to revolutionise the treatment of this common heart condition affecting 0.5% of the adult population.

CardioDigital Ltd will conduct large scale clinical trials to help develop an electronic tool that will aid cardiologists' decision making process when selecting the correct therapy for patients.

The tool will be used to predict the long term maintenance of regular heart rhythm for AF sufferers who undergo cardioversion therapy. The results of this predictive score could be used to exclude up to 50% of an estimated 250,000 patients worldwide who are currently selected for cardioversion treatment and for whom there is no quality of life benefit from therapy. These patients would be selected for a more appropriate therapy.

AF affects 0.5% of the adult population, rising to around 10% or more in those over 75 years. The number of people suffering from the condition is expected to double in the next 40 years due to the aging population.

Dr Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Trust at the Wellcome Trust, commented:

"The Wellcome Trust is keen to support the development of new technology, with the ultimate aim of improving health-care for patients for generations to follow. The transition by CardioDigital Ltd of techniques from the physical sciences to critical care devices will make a very real impact on clinical outcomes."

Professor Paul Addison, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of CardioDigital, stated that:

"The funds will allow us to target a true unmet clinical need by allowing the clinician to provide significantly enhanced patient-tailored therapy. This will offer benefits both to the patient, in identifying the optimum therapy for the individual, so avoiding procedures unlikely to improve patient outcome, and the healthcare provider, in terms of significantly reduced costs."

The announcement of this funding follows on from a previous investment in 2003 by both the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Executive. This initial £1M package enabled CardioDigital Ltd to focus on its near-to-market opportunities by accelerating technology development ready for the marketplace in two key device sectors: defibrillators for cardiac arrest victims and pulse oximeters, which is a device for measuring oxygen in the blood.

Nicol Stephen, Deputy First Minister for Scotland, who visited the company last week to mark the achievement of this funding said:

"CardioDigital Ltd has come a long way in a relatively short period of time and is now on the threshold of something of real international significance. The Wellcome Trust is to be congratulated for providing funding to allow the next step to be taken."

"I am delighted that the Executive has been able to provide funding at key stages of CardioDigital's development helping a Scottish company which, through innovation, is helping save lives."

Professor Addison added:

"The medical device sector is particularly receptive to technology pull and there is a strong precedent for new technologies to capture significant market share. This award will allow us to develop the technology to a point where we can target an addressable global market of substantial value with a unique technology offering,' said."


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For more details please contact:

Prof Professor Paul S Addison
CEO
CardioDigital Ltd
Elvingston Science Centre
East Lothian
EH33 1EH
United Kingdom
T. +44 (0)1875 408 175
M: +44 7913 110 4871
F. +44 (0)1875 408 001
Mike Findlay - Wellcome Trust Media Officer
T +44 (0)20 7611 8612
E m.findlay@wellcome.ac.uk