Neotherix is delighted to announce the award of major funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme. We are working as part of a consortium led by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) on "Transforming treatment of fistula-in-ano: a novel bioresorbable seton scaffold device", a three year project also involving the NIHR MedTech Cooperative based in Birmingham and Keighleycolo Ltd. This interdisciplinary team will work with patients and clinicians to finalise the design of a novel seton device (a cord left in an anal fistula to keep it open and allow it to drain, thereby aiding healing).
Fistula-in-ano (FIA) is a condition in which sufferers experience daily discomfort and smelly discharge from an abnormal tunnel connecting their lower bowel (back passage) to the skin next to the anus. Notoriously difficult to treat, the condition typically requires multiple operations under general anaesthetic which carries a risk of permanent anal incontinence. Failure rates are high, meaning some patients must live with FIA symptoms for the rest of their lives.
The project team aims to transform FIA treatment by combining current management techniques with the latest therapeutic materials technology. The new project is complimentary to Neotherix' existing interests in the use of regenerative scaffold devices for soft tissue repair, and will address a significant unmet clinical need for this intrusive and embarrassing condition that affects around 12,000 new patients every year in the UK by creating a simple, cheap, safe and effective treatment which preserves continence, and avoids multiple sequential surgical procedures.