UCL News


UCL Business concludes multimillion pound sale of Stanmore Implants Worldwide

25 February 2008


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UCL Business (UCLB) has announced the sale of Stanmore Implants Worldwide (SIW) for around £10 million.

The company - owned by UCL and managed through UCLB - is being sold to a syndicate led by Abingworth Management and MDY Healthcare plc.

SIW is an innovative orthopaedic business focused on saving and restoring the function of limbs and joints. It designs, manufactures and markets a custom implant service with a portfolio of orthopaedic implants for limb salvage and complex joint replacement, and is known for creating some of the world's most successful implants, including the Stanmore Hip.

The company was spun out from the Centre for Biomedical Engineering, based at the UCL Institute of Orthopaedics, and has been actively managed through UCL Business over the last 12 months. It currently has annual sales in excess of £4 million.

SIW's key new product in development is Intraosseous Transcutaneous Amputation Prosthesis (ITAP), an innovative device for directly attaching prostheses to the skeleton of amputees. It is being developed for a wide range of applications including upper and lower limb, digits and craniofacial prostheses.

ITAP builds on groundbreaking research undertaken by UCL with a design that, by mimicking successful skin-penetrating natural structures (such as deer antler) smoothly integrating with the skin. This provides an effective barrier against infection, which has previously limited the application of percutaneous implants to dental implants and craniofacial applications.  

Surgeons working closely with the company have implanted a number of craniofacial ITAP devices over the last three years with encouraging clinical results. In late 2007, the first upper limb ITAP device was implanted in a 7/7 bomb victim. The patient is progressing well, and Stanmore plans to implant further upper and the first lower limb ITAP implants during this year.

Mr Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director of UCLB, said: "SIW is a great example of academia and technology-transfer working together within an academic and NHS environment, delivering benefits to society. The sale of SIW to MDY and Abingworth will accelerate the development of ITAP which will benefit both patients and the continuing academic research at UCL."

UCLB is the organisation responsible for commercialising research across all disciplines, generated from within UCL and associated organisations. It is primarily responsible for protecting inventions and transacting commercial activity including options, licences and collaborative commercial research. UCLB also has responsibility for creating and spinning-out companies from UCL. UCLB is wholly owned by UCL and operates as an independent company with its own board of directors.

To find out more about UCL's commercialisation of research, use the link at the top of this article.

Image 1: An X-ray of the ITAP

Image 2: The ITAP implant protrudes through the end of a patient's finger