A hand held imaging device created in WA to lower the number of breast cancer patients is being commercialised in the State as the starting point for local researchers and innovators to bring their innovations to market.
The device will help reduce the amount of surgery needed by breast cancer sufferers and the State Government’s commercialisation of the device will boost local innovations in WA.
It has been developed to improve the safety and reliability of lumpectomies, a procedure removing cancerous breast tissue along with a surrounding margin of healthy tissue.
Surgeons will be able to outline healthy breast tissue from cancerous tissue so sufficient tissue can be taken during the first procedure.
The device was developed by biomedical engineers from The University of Western Australia with clinical input from Department of Health’s surgeons and pathologists.
Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) established medical device company OncoRes Medical to specifically to commercialise the product for a worldwide market.
The company has received a $4 million commitment from the MRCF with a further $2 million commitment expected.
Funding is dependent on OncoRes Medical reaching a number of milestones.
The McGowan Government has committed $2.67 million to the MRCF between 2007 and 2022 through the Department of Health and Department of Commerce.
It is a founding member of the MRCF.
Health Minister Roger Cook said commercialisation of the device is ground-breaking for Western Australian research development.
“The establishment of OncoRes should serve as an inspiration for other researchers, showing that innovation can – and should – happen here,” he said.
“It shows that researchers no longer have to look outside the State to get the support and investment that they need to bring their ideas to fruition”
He said the device will increase improve and increase accuracy in breast cancer surgeries.
“The development of this tool will assist in reducing the margin for error associated with lumpectomies, and ease the anxiety of patients fearing they will need more surgery to remove extra tissue,” Mr Cook said.
“This development will be good for breast cancer patients, for our health system and for the economy.”
“It also highlights some of the important medical research and innovation that is already underway in this State.”
Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said the device was the first step toward future medical technological innovations that the MRCF would help commercialise.
“MRCF assists member medical research institutes and departments of health to overcome the early-stage funding gap, which can be a major obstacle to commercialising new technologies,” he said.
Photo Courtesy: Roger Cook’s Facebook Page