CCL wins 1m contract to help Belgian start-up


14-03-2001

Cambridge Consultants has won a 1 million contract to help Belgian start-up Thermocore Medical Systems develop a new device to fight heart disease.

With heart disease the number one killer in the western world, the new device has the potential to be a real lifesaver, CCL says. Early detection of potential heart problems is critical in cutting down the likelihood of heart attacks.



One in three of us will undergo routine diagnostic work at some point, via a process known as an angiogram, that allows doctors using x-ray imaging to visualise coronary arteries.



The new device will allow doctors to take this procedure one step further.



Dr John Yianni, Thermocore boss, said: 'If a severely narrowed or even blocked artery shows up on the x-ray, the patient would probably receive treatment to reopen the blockage.



'This restores the blood flow and, in turn, makes the patient feel 20 years younger. However, six months later the patient may suffer another heart attack that can often be fatal.



'We believe this is caused by previously undetectable problems called unstable or vulnerable plaques, a diseased area within the artery that may not even show up on the x-ray, but act as a silent time-bomb.'



CCL and Thermocore believe that by detecting these unstable plaques in the early stages there can be a dramatic reduction in the chances of a heart attack.



Andrew Diston, head of CCL's medical physics division, is in charge of the project that combines mechanical engineering with software and electronics engineering.



'This is a great win for us,' he said.



'It allows us to demonstrate one of our great strengths, the ability to completely develop new products using a spectrum of engineering skills.'