Ola Rickardsson of ShieldHeart, Lund University, Sweden on winning the 2011 LES International Global Award

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Video title: Ola Rickardsson of ShieldHeart, Lund University, Sweden on winning the 2011 LES International Global Award
Released on: July 27, 2011. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this interview, Adrian Dawkes talks to Ola Rickardsson of ShieldHeart.
Negative pressure wound therapy technology and solution
Adrian Dawkes:
I am here with Ola Rickardsson of Lund University and ShieldHeart winner of the LESI Global Award, welcome Ola and congratulations on winning this award today.
Ola Rickardsson:
Well thank you very much.
Adrian Dawkes:
Ola, well perhaps you could tell us a little bit about the idea behind your company and your entry into the business plan?
Ola Rickardsson:
Well the technology as such was discovered in 2006 when we at Lund University did a series of pretty advanced experimental incisions into pigs undergoing heart surgery and then receiving negative pressure wound therapy. What we want to do then was to investigate what is the cause of heart trachea which by then had been associated with this type of therapy. So in MRI and endoscopy we managed to identify the cause of the heart rupture during negative pressure wound therapy and by understanding the cause we could also make a device which would counteract this side effects, so that's what we basically do, we did this and we patent it and basically that's why we are at here today.
Adrian Dawkes:
A negative pressure wound therapy is widely used, but this is a big issue with it and what's the incidence or problems with that therapy?
Ola Rickardsson:
Yes it's, it is a big issue, I mean a negative pressure wound therapy has proven tremendous results in wound healing and is a very, very effective way to heal wound which are hard to close or hard to heal for instance and, but this negative side effects there are also pretty substantial as the US FDA has issued two safety communications with the adverse event reports that are being filed with them regarding these type of systems, so yes we really understand it has been very.
Key drivers for entering the Business plan competition
Adrian Dawkes:
So clearly you know there was an unmet need that's pressured from the US FDA to do something about this issue when you come up with the solution did you then sort of validate it clinically by talking to key opinion leaders in the field?
Ola Rickardsson:
Well in a way we are the leaders in the field when it comes to organ protection during negative pressure wound therapy and the research team and the scientist at university they have published almost a 100 articles in scientific journals on just the negative pressure wound therapy and complications basically and so we are kind of leaders in that aspects, but when it comes to actually marketing and device and stuff like that we are not the experts and at the moment we are in ShieldHeart the firm we are currently seeking some guidance to clear the products through the regulatory pathways which you have to deal of course if you want to sell the products again.
Adrian Dawkes:
So this is also the driver for you entering the competition and to get more sort of commercial exposure and commercial focus to the idea?
Ola Rickardsson:
Yes except, I think that I mean commercial exposure I mean our market is very limited so in a way it's easy for us to go to them so we may be it's not that we need exposure as such to be able to, but of course exposure is always good to build value and to get that people to really understand that this is something that is really big and there it's not only we believe in our technology that you can actually see that people here at the LESI they are so it's very, very distinguished people in this field and if they believe in the technology, I mean that says something about the value of our technology I would say.
Interest of big pharma companies in Negative pressure wound therapy system
Adrian Dawkes:
And when you said you went into meet the big pharma players who operate in this sector did you talk to them, what kind of response did they give you?
Ola Rickardsson:
Yes, what we have been doing this informal enquiries more over and to the it's the firms it's not so much big pharma its more you know the medical device the wound care companies that has a negative pressure wound therapy system marketed today and we've talked to some of them and they are very interested in some aspect of our products it will differentiate there little bit what they are saying, but there is a very big interest and what we are basically doing now we are thinking what we want to do and they are thinking how they want " how they would like to see our company work with their company and then I think in a few months we will have very interesting discussions.
Response by investors and investing community
Adrian Dawkes:
Okay, so everybody is circling right now waiting for the next move and what about the investors, investing community have you talked to them have they responded favorably?
Ola Rickardsson:
Yes, there are have been investors that are very interested to come in here and invest in the company at the moment, we don't think that's necessary for us, we are what we are doing at the moment we are financing it by our own funds and but we are also aware that we cannot do this up till the I mean you can only do it so far then you gonna need additional capital, but for instance landing some sort of a licensing deal pretty early on now that would perhaps bring in the capital into the firm that would be needed to take it all the way through and then you could have some reasonable wealth system or something like that going on to which will make it a good deal for us and a good deal for them.
Future plans
Adrian Dawkes:
Okay, and that's how you see the growth and future of your company through doing licensing deals with various players and allowing you to grow and spreading to other areas perhaps?
Ola Rickardsson:
May be not spreading to other areas, I think that if we are gonna do something with ShieldHeart it's gonna be cutting edge technology in negative pressure wound therapy and I suppose let this protect the devices that saves life's, I want to be a connected with ShieldHeart when people hear that people are gonna think like okay it's the good guess lets save life's. So I don't think that we are gonna go into something totally different, but hey you never know what's gonna be the next science project so.
Adrian Dawkes:
And right now you've got a fairly clearpath ahead of you, because there is little or no competition would that be fair?
Ola Rickardsson:
There is no competition in our market, because we are basically we are creating the market here, because we have the negative pressure wound therapy but there is no such thing as devices for organ protection and therefore at the moment negative pressure wound therapies counter indicate that for all use in association with organs, or blood vessels and such, so for the firm which offers negative pressure wound therapy today who could go in there and say we have now an indication to use our product in the wound were we have exposed organs for instance this sternal wound which is counter indicate that from all manufactures then you could go out there you could say this is you should use our equipment on label why are you using our competitors off label this is not good and that's a very strong selling argument I think.
Adrian Dawkes:
That sounds like your ideally in position to make a success out of this and with the springboard of the competition and award winning that should push you forward. Ola, congratulations again on winning the competition and thank you for joining us here today.
Ola Rickardsson:
Thank you very much.
Adrian Dawkes
Adrian Dawkes has significant multi-discipline expertise spanning research & development through to sales, marketing and business development from 25 years in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and in vitro diagnostics sectors. Adrian Dawkes has held senior positions with Johnson & Johnson, drug discovery platform company Acumen Bioscience and the Healthcare Consultancy company Execute Technologies. Adrian has a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Immunochemistry from Oxford Brookes.
Ola Rickardsson
LESI Global Award winner
Ola Rickardsson , Lund University and ShieldHeart - Winner of the LESI Global Award
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
ShieldHeart has invented a device to help counter deadly side effects that have been associated with NPWT, a technique that has revolutionized wound care over the past decade. According to the team, reports surfaced in the early 2000's about serious complications associated NPWT, including massive bleeding and rupture of vital organs. The United States Food and Drug Administration issued warnings about the side effects of NPWT in 2009 and again in February of this year, however, health care practitioners continue to use the technique lacking a viable alternative. " ShieldHeart scientists were first to identify the cause and effect relationship between NPWT and heart rupture in 2006. Since then they have created a functioning organ protection device technology that has received patents in Sweden and the United States and has patents pending in other countries," said ShieldHeart's Ola Rickardsson . "Pre-clinical trials have been made and we are preparing for human clinical trials."