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The medical solutions of tomorrow, developed in Wales today

A WOUND-HEALING product made from maggot secretions and a blood test for Multiple Sclerosis – the first of its kind in the world – are among the Welsh innovations to secure support from the Welsh Government.

Economy Secretary, Jeremy Miles, today announced £900k funding for 5 projects which promise to deliver real-life medical benefits through cutting edge life sciences technology.

Bridgend-based Zoobiotic Limited are developing products from larval secretions which speed the removal of dead or infected skin tissue to help a wound heal.

Using a different approach, Corryn Biotechnologies in Swansea are working on a handheld medical device which can deposit a layer of microscopic polymer fibres over a wound, creating a dressing using “electrospinning” technology.

Thursday 30 May marks World MS Day and one of the cutting-edge projects announced was to develop T-Cell tests, which are used in diagnostics and precision medicine. Immunoserv’s technology will be a Cardiff-developed, clinically validated diagnostic blood test for MS – the first of its kind worldwide.

Arcitebio Ltd in Aberystwyth has developed a low-cost diabetic-friendly and tooth-friendly natural sweetener using a biotechnological solution to produce xylitol from biomass.

Finally, Copner Biotech in Ebbw Vale are exploring using bioprinting technology to produce organ replacements.

Known as SMART FIS, the programme is a new approach to research and development. It is not restricted to businesses and research organisations: it is open to any organisation wishing to engage in research, development and innovation, including the third sector, local authorities and health boards.

For a new organisation this might mean accessing technology to get a new idea off the ground. For a developing one, it could be help with a project which has potential, and for an established organisation it might be about specialist know-how to give an international edge by opening-up new markets.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “We launched our Flexible Innovation Support (FIS) programme last summer to help Welsh businesses and organisations improve people’s everyday lives by driving cutting-edge research and innovation.

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“We want to build a stronger and fairer nation with an economy based on fair work, sustainability and sectors of the future – this support programme provides a strong footing for this ambition.

“As can be seen with these inspiring projects, Welsh companies are developing world-changing ideas which could ultimately save people’s lives. Any kind of organisation is welcome to apply for this support – please do see if yours could benefit too.”

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