NETPark based IBEX Innovations Limited (IBEX) has secured a €1.6m grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to demonstrate the effectiveness of IBEX X-RAY DETECTOR TECHNOLOGY for the early detection of osteoporosis. The grant will fund a two-year project including a human clinical study undertaken in conjunction with South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust and Newcastle University.
Osteoporosis affects 200 million people globally and for women over 50 results in more days spent in hospital care than either diabetes or breast cancer. The disease affects over three million people in the UK, with more than 500,000 patients receiving hospital treatment for fragility fractures every year as a result. The impact of poor bone health in the EU is estimated to cost €37bn per year, two thirds of which is spent on the treatment of fractures and rehabilitation.
Despite its major social and economic impacts, there is currently no routine screening method for osteoporosis. X-ray scans are used to initially diagnose a fracture but provide no information on bone density. Consequently only patients considered “at risk” of osteoporosis – typically adults over the age of 60 - will be referred onto a specialist clinic for a bone density measurement with a DEXA scan.
The patented IBEX X-ray detector technology upgrades standard hospital x-ray equiptment to also measure bone mineral density at the same time, providing a quicker, more accurate diagnosis of osteoporosis in patients. Routine adoption of the IBEX technology will generate bone mineral density measurements for all patients and provide earlier and more accurate diagnosis of osteoporosis.
The IBEX technology has already been successfully demonstrated in cadaveric trials to generate bone density data to the same quality as a DEXA scan, and the study will now demonstrate its safety and effectiveness in a human clinical investigation conducted on patients attending James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Data from the study will be used to certify the IBEX technology as a medical device and allow widespread adoption in healthcare markets.
Professor Amar Rangan, an orthopaedic surgeon at James Cook University Hospital who is the trial’s Chief Investigator, said: “Essentially, if we can demonstrate this new technology is safe, reliable and effective, the potential benefit to patients and the NHS could be huge both in terms of patient outcomes and cost effectiveness.”
Dr Neil Loxley, CEO of IBEX added “We are thrilled and delighted to have secured funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This is a highly competitive programme, and for IBEX to be counted within the 6% of successful applicants is a fantastic validation of the IBEX technology and the capabilities of our amazing team of people.
“We are really looking forward to working with our partners in the project to bring our important and innovative solution to market.”