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Innovation award is putty in hands of pioneering medical firm company


Ulster University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Richard Barnett

Ulster University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Richard Barnett

Ulster University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Richard Barnett

A NORTHERN Ireland medical company pioneering a putty-style substance for use in hospitals has won an award for innovation.

Jenarron Therapeutics was formed following collaboration between Mark Jenkins, a consultant in emergency medicine at Antrim Area Hospital emergency department and Paul McCarron, professor of Pharmaceutics at the University of Ulster and head of the Department of Pharmacy.

The firm is working on a patented putty-hydrogel material that can be used to deliver a range of drug substances, such as anaesthetic to wounds, and has emerged the overall winner at the inaugural Pitchfest 2011, a joint initiative by the Northern Ireland Science Park CONNECT scheme and the Halo Business Angels Network.

Jenarron will initially focus on the management of acute wounds, such as serious laceration seen in A-amp;E, and non-serious minor cuts and scratches, typically picked up by young children during play.

The company then intends to adapt its technology so that the putty can be used in chronic wounds, such as leg ulcers, pressure sores and burn injuries.

Billed as a rapid Dragon's Den-style event where 12 companies were pitched their ideas to a panel of judges and an audience of over 150 business leaders, Pitchfest featured innovative schemes from a variety of sectors.

Judges and audience combined their votes to name Jenarron the winner of the £1,000 cash award.

The event was sponsored by Cleaver Fulton Rankin, BluePrint and FPM Chartered Accountants.

Two runners-up also received special recognition.

Annagh Ltd was acknowledged for its proposals in developing diabetes monitoring and alarm solutions while RegenaGraft was recognised for its pioneering tissue engineered solutions for heart valve replacement.