New device to detect early signs of heart conditions

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A Yorkshire heart-monitor company is one of five technology businesses hoping to raise finance at the White Rose Bioscience Forum, Yorkshire’s flagship bioscience event - in York today (01 November 2005).

The company, Advanced Medical Diagnostics Group (AMDG), will be pitching to an audience of investors as part of an investment track, run by Connect Yorkshire, the organisation which primes regional technology companies for investment.

AMDG’s heart monitor, the VariaCardio TF5, helps to detect early signs of heart conditions which are associated with the UK’s 1.4 million diabetics.

AMDG’s managing director Dr Malcolm Ellis explains: “Around 70 per cent of the diabetics in the UK develop a condition known as Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy (DAN) that can develop specifically into Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy (CAN). These conditions lead to degeneration of the nerves that control the heart’s rhythms and dramatically decrease the patient’s life expectancy.”

“New drugs known as pioglitazones have been developed which control the progression of CAN and DAN. The problem is that once people notice symptoms and tell their GP the disease is too far advanced for pioglitazones to have any real beneficial effect. This is where our heart monitors come in. They detect early signs of the disease so doctors can easily monitor at-risk patients whenever they come in for a check-up.”

AMDG launched the VariaCardio TF5 in Germany two years ago, and now aims to break into the American market, for which it hopes to raise £400,000 to establish its sales and marketing activity.

Dr Ellis continues: “The main reason we are presenting at the Forum is to raise funds to break into America. The US market is worth approximately $5 billion and the insurance companies are crying out for a product like this. We would love the VariaCardio to be available to everyone here on the NHS and a track record in America will certainly help with this process.”

AMDG has a strong relationship with Takeda, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures a pioglitazone drug. Takeda has purchased over 40 VariaCardio instruments and is conducting a 3-year trial with 1000 diabetics to demonstrate the benefits of early detection and the use of its drugs.

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