Thursday 15 June 2017

Expansion for health spin-out

A Newcastle based healthcare company that received initial investment from the NIHR Newcastle BRC, has created jobs after receiving growth funding.

A healthcare company that spun out of Newcastle University and the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust has created jobs after receiving £1m in growth funding.

Changing Health, which helps people with Type 2 diabetes control their symptoms, has recruited six new members of staff after receiving £1m from the Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, which is managed by Northstar Ventures, and signing a deal with healthcare giant Nuffield.

The company emerged from a partnership between the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University, which uses ground-breaking research to develop behavioural change techniques to improve the lives of people with Type 2 diabetes. Initial research underpinning the basis to develop Changing Health, in part, came from the National Institute for Health Research Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre – a Department of Health funded partnership between Newcastle Hospitals and Newcastle University that supports translational research into ageing and long-term conditions.

The platform the company has developed provides users with educational content about managing their condition, as well as healthy eating and exercise. Users can track their personal data, set realistic goals and receive personal interaction with trained coaches.

The expansion at Changing Health comes as figures show that the North East has the largest proportion of people working in life sciences of any region in England, based in part of the excellence built up in many years from Newcastle University’s medical school.

The company’s chief scientist Professor Mike Trenell is a senior researcher at Newcastle University, and held an NIHR Senior Research Fellowship between 2011 and 2016. He is highly regarded for his research into behavioural change in people with T2D.

Prof Trenell said: “Diabetes is currently the single biggest health issue in the UK and the greatest cost to the NHS and other healthcare providers. Yet 70% of Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented or reversed with a healthy diet and physical activity.

“Changing Health addresses this need by reducing barriers to patients accessing the educational programme they need and for the first time making available evidence-based behavioural change tools that improve health outcomes and reduce delivery costs.”

IMAGE: Changing Health team, from left to right: Andrew Taws, Gemma Johnson, Jonathan Gwillim, Louise Taylor, John Grumitt, Mark Scorringe , Aarti Sahasranaman and Harley Fuller (Photo: publicity hand-out)