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Research sparks new business spin-out

02 February 2010

Dr Neil WarrenDr Neil Warren

New medical instrument designs which aim to improve the safety and efficiency of a key surgical procedure have sparked a new University spin-out company.

Asalus is a new spin-out company founded on the innovative research work of Dr Neil Warren, School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education, into laparoscopic surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions, as compared to the larger incisions needed in traditional surgical procedures.

Dr Warren is the director and lecturer at the Welsh Institute for Minimal Access Therapy (WIMAT) which is part of the University’s School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education and one of the UK’s best equipped laparoscopic training centres in the UK.

The new company will develop three innovative new devices designed by Dr Warren to improve the safety and efficiency of laparoscopic surgery.

The three products, for which Patents have already been filed, that Asalus will develop, include: a smoke and steam clearance device that represents a shift in the way in which electrosurgical smoke is removed from the abdominal cavity during laparoscopic surgery; an access port that will provide significant benefits over those currently on the market; and a multifunctional device for the atraumatic manipulation of tissues and organs.

Dr Neil Warren, School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education, said: "The work at WIMAT is at the forefront of minimally invasive surgery training and it was this hands-on experience that enabled me to come up with the concepts for the Asalus range of laparoscopic devices."

Asalus is a new spin-out company developed as a result of the University’s partnership with Fusion IP. In January 2007, Fusion IP completed a long-term exclusive agreement with the University, to commercialise the University's research-generated Intellectual Property (IP).

Other University spin-out companies that have been set-up as a result of the partnership include: Mesuro, Abcellute, Medaphor, and Q-chip.

Fusion IP also has a Memorandum of Understanding with Finance Wales, the provider of commercial funding to Wales-based SMEs, which outlines a strategy of co-investment in opportunities arising from the University agreement.

Dominic Griffiths, Portfolio Investment Manager of Fusion IP and Director of Asalus said: "This is a great example of how the injection of know-how and money from the commercial sector can facilitate the rapid conversion of Cardiff University’s world-class IP pipeline into businesses with real value.

"Asalus has a great opportunity to be a developer of some of the UK’s leading laparoscopic devices and we look forward to supporting the company as it commercialises its product range."

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