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Sirion powers UCLH's initiative aimed at driving improved financial value, performance and compliance in its large procurement and client contracts. LONDON, Oct. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- SirionLabs, the G-Cloud listed provider of technology solutions for effective management of strategic services contracts, today announced that University College London Hospital (UCLH), one of the largest NHS trusts in the UK, has expanded the scope of its Sirion deployment to cover all of its large, strategic services contracts. Eight of UCLH's largest contracts including IT services, PFI, medical services (ambulatory transport and pharmacy), and client services contracts will be managed using Sirion's cutting-edge post-signature contract management capabilities. Sirion's deployment is part of UCLH's aim at driving improved efficiencies and savings in its commercial arrangements through an effective combination of processes and technology. This initiative assumes significance in light of the recent studies, including the National Audit Office (NAO) study and the Carter review, highlighting the need for the public sector to address critical gaps in their management of complex services contracts. As part of this program, UCLH commenced a proof of concept engagement with SirionLabs in early 2016 with the deployment of a large client services contract (for delivering a range of technology, medical and facilities management services to a large patient care services company) for management on Sirion. This was quickly followed by a large procurement contract for IT and BPO services.With the objective of sharing UCLH's learnings and experience from this program for the benefit of the broader healthcare sector in the UK, SirionLabs and UCLH are jointly organising a seminar around the theme Haemorrhaging Value: Removing waste through effective management of contracts in the health sector to be held on 31st October in London. This exclusive, by-invitation event will be attended by senior leaders from UK's public healthcare sector with speakers from UCLH, the Cabinet Office, PCS and CGI. "Like most NHS organisations, UCLH is continuously looking for ways to reduce avoidable expenditure and improve revenue, and do this while maintaining high standards of care for our patients. We recently commenced an initiative at UCLH to drive improved financial value and performance in our large procurement and client contracts. We chose Sirion to power this initiative due to its advanced capabilities for managing complex services contracts in the post-award phase," said Tim Jaggard, Finance Director, UCLH, further adding "We are pleased with the results of the pilot engagement with Sirion – material reduction in wasted expenditure, increased revenue, and improved relationships with our suppliers and customers." "UCLH is one of the UK's leading NHS Trusts with a rich history of innovation and excellence. This program adds to UCLH's reputation as a pioneer in the healthcare sector," said Evangelos Apostolou, President, EMEA for SirionLabs. "We are pleased with Sirion's contribution to the initial success of this initiative. With the expanded scope of Sirion's deployment, we look forward to making a bigger impact by enabling UCLH to drive higher value realisation in all of its key commercial engagements." About UCLH UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), situated in the West End of London, is one of the largest NHS trusts in the United Kingdom and provides first-class acute and specialist services. The state-of-the-art University College Hospital which opened in 2005, is the focal point of UCLH alongside four cutting-edge specialist hospitals. UCLH is committed to research and development and forms part of UCL Partners which in March 2009 was officially designated as one of the UK's first academic health science centres by the Department of Health. UCLH works closely with UCL, translating research into treatments for patients. Visit our website www.uclh.nhs.uk, we are also on Facebook (UCLHNHS), Twitter (@UCLH) and Youtube (UCLHvideo). About SirionLabs SirionLabs is transforming the way buyers and suppliers of complex services engage with each other using our flagship enterprise platform - Sirion. Sirion radically simplifies the delivery and consumption of complex services. It bridges the gap in existing supplier governance (for buyers) and revenue assurance (for suppliers) solutions by tightly integrating all key disciplines – contracts, performance, financial, risk, and relationship management. Leveraging automation and advanced analytics, Sirion helps buyers and suppliers to create higher value and stronger relationships, while enabling effective management of cost and risk in complex services engagements. You can visit us at www.sirionlabs.com, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. This release was issued through WebWire(R). For more information visit http://www.webwire.com.


News Article | February 4, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Ticked Off! Here's What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease Drug-resistant bacteria may still be killed if antibiotics "push" hard enough, researchers have found. In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers led by a team from University College London detailed a promising new means by which antibiotic resistance can be overcome, offering scientists the opportunity to design drugs to be more effective. "Antibiotics work in different ways, but they all need to bind to bacterial cells in order to kill them," said Joseph Ndieyira, the study's lead author. He likened antibiotics and bacteria to keys and locks. Antibiotics have "keys" that fit into "locks" located on bacterial surfaces. When a key fits into a lock, antibiotics are able to latch onto bacteria, killing it. When bacteria develops drug resistance then, locks are basically changed. This means the keys won't fit anymore, rendering antibiotics ineffective. However, the researchers discovered that certain antibiotics have the ability to strong-arm locks, forcing themselves unto bacteria. In fact, some antibiotics were so strong that they don't just destroy locks but essentially tear doors apart, killing bacteria instantly. To measure the mechanical forces four types of antibiotics exerted on bacteria, researchers utilized sensitive equipment. Testing both resistant and non-resistant bacteria, the researchers observed that all of the antibiotics produced similar levels of force on non-resistant bacteria. However, forces exerted on resistant bacteria widely varied. One of the antibiotics the researchers tested was vancomycin, a powerful drug used as a last resort for treating Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections and others. A modified form of vancomycin used on complex skin infections, oritavancin was also tested. According to Ndieyira, vancomycin and oritavancin basically have the same "key" but the latter exerted force on bacteria that is 11,000 times stronger compared to the former. The researchers are not clear on how exactly oritavancin was able to effectively kill resistant bacteria, but the force the antibiotic generated was enough to tear holes into and rip apart bacteria. Vancomycin takes between six and 24 hours to get the job done, disrupting processes to bring bacterial death. As a fast-acting antibiotic, oritavancin, on the other hand, only needs 15 minutes to work. The researchers are suggesting that oritavancin kills bacteria in a completely different manner than vancomycin as the antibiotic's molecules are good forming clusters, sticking and working together to tear bacterial surfaces apart. Ndieyira and colleagues developed a mathematical model describing antibiotic behavior on bacterial surfaces, which could be used for screening and identifying promising new antibiotics that can take advantage of brute force to kill bacteria. Aside from guiding development of new antibiotics, the results of the study could be used in modifying existing drugs, turning them more effective at overcoming resistance. Armed with proof that modification bumps up antibiotic efficacy, the researchers are optimistic that similar things can be done, resulting in a new generation of antibiotics that can tackle multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. The current study received funding support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UCL, the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Center, and the European Union. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, announced today that the first adult patient in the UK has enrolled and been dosed in a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial named ASCEND for the investigational therapy olipudase alfa. Olipudase alfa is an enzyme replacement therapy being studied for the treatment of non-neurological manifestations of acid sphingomyelinase deficiency (ASMD), also known as Niemann-Pick disease type B (NPD B). The first patient was dosed at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University College of London Hospitals (UCLH). "ASMD is a rare disorder affecting the breakdown of certain complex fats in the body," said Dr. Robin Lachmann, Principal Investigator at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. "These gradually accumulate over time in organs such as the liver, spleen and lungs, leading to debilitating and life threatening complications. There is a clear need for a new treatment option which could positively affect the lives of patients with ASMD. We are excited to be taking part in this pivotal clinical trial and pleased to have been able to dose the first patient in the UK." "There is currently no approved treatment for ASMD and so today's announcement of the first patient in the UK receiving olipudase alfa in this trial is a very welcome step," said Toni Mathieson, Chief Executive at Niemann-Pick UK (NPUK). "We look forward to seeing the trial progress and to continuing to work closely with physicians, patients and companies, such as Sanofi Genzyme, who are committed to developing effective treatments for rare diseases." ASMD is one of a group of lysosomal storage disorders that affect cellular metabolism and are caused by genetic mutations. ASMD is a serious and life-threatening disorder caused by insufficient activity of the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase resulting in accumulation of sphingomyelin in multiple organs of the body. Common clinical manifestations include enlarged liver and spleen, liver dysfunction, infiltrative lung disease, bleeding complications, cardiovascular and bone disease, and growth delay. There are currently no approved treatment options for patients with ASMD. ASCEND is a Phase 2/3 multi-national, multi-center, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy, safety, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of olipudase alfa administered intravenously once every 2 weeks for 52 weeks in adult patients with ASMD, specifically NPD B. The Phase 2/3 trial will assess the effect of olipudase alfa on spleen size, lung function and other important clinical parameters. Thirty-six patients are expected to be enrolled in the study and receive olipudase alfa or a placebo. Upon completion of the 52 week primary analysis period, all patients will receive treatment in an extension period. Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi is organized into five global business units: Diabetes and Cardiovascular, General Medicines and Emerging Markets, Sanofi Genzyme, Sanofi Pasteur and Merial. Sanofi Genzyme focuses on developing specialty treatments for debilitating diseases that are often difficult to diagnose and treat, providing hope to patients and their families. Genzyme® is a registered trademark of Genzyme Corporation. Sanofi® is a registered trademark of Sanofi. All rights reserved.


News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A new non-surgical treatment for low-risk prostate cancer can effectively kill cancer cells while preserving healthy tissue, reports a new UCL-led phase III clinical trial in 413 patients. The trial was funded by STEBA Biotech which holds the commercial license for the treatment. The new treatment, 'vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy' (VTP), involves injecting a light-sensitive drug into the bloodstream and then activating it with a laser to destroy tumour tissue in the prostate. The research, published in The Lancet Oncology, found that around half (49%) of patients treated with VTP went into complete remission compared with 13.5% in the control group. "These results are excellent news for men with early localised prostate cancer, offering a treatment that can kill cancer without removing or destroying the prostate," says lead investigator Professor Mark Emberton, Dean of UCL Medical Sciences and Consultant Urologist at UCLH. "This is truly a huge leap forward for prostate cancer treatment, which has previously lagged decades behind other solid cancers such as breast cancer. In 1975 almost everyone with breast cancer was given a radical mastectomy, but since then treatments have steady improved and we now rarely need to remove the whole breast. In prostate cancer we are still commonly removing or irradiating the whole prostate, so the success of this new tissue-preserving treatment is welcome news indeed." At the moment, men with low-risk prostate cancer are put under 'active surveillance' where the disease is monitored and only treated when it becomes more severe. Radical therapy, which involves surgically removing or irradiating the whole prostate, has significant long-term side effects so is only used to treat high-risk cancers. Radical therapy causes lifelong erectile problems and around one in five patients also suffer from incontinence. By contrast, VTP only caused short-term urinary and erectile problems which resolved within three months, and no significant side-effects remained after two years. In the trial only 6% of patients treated with VTP needed radical therapy compared with 30% of patients in the control arm who were under active surveillance. The chances of cancer progressing to a more dangerous stage were three times lower for patients on VTP, and the treatment doubled the average time to progression from 14 months to 28 months. The trial involved 47 treatment sites from ten different European countries, most of which were performing VTP for the first time. "The fact that the treatment was performed so successfully by non-specialist centres in various health systems is really remarkable," says Professor Emberton, who is supported by the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre. "New procedures are generally associated with a learning curve, but the lack of complications in the trial suggests that the treatment protocol is safe, efficient and relatively easy to scale up. We would also expect the treatment to be far more precise if we repeated it today, as technology has come a long way since the study began in 2011. "We can now pinpoint prostate cancers using MRI scans and targeted biopsies, allowing a much more targeted approach to diagnosis and treatment. This means we could accurately identify men who would benefit from VTP and deliver treatment more precisely to the tumour. With such an approach we should be able to achieve a significantly higher remission rate than in the trial and send nearly all low-risk localised prostate cancers into remission. We also hope that VTP will be effective against other types of cancer - the treatment was developed for prostate cancer because of the urgent need for new therapies, but it should be translatable to other solid cancers including breast and liver cancer." The VTP therapy approach was developed by scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel in collaboration with STEBA Biotech, and the European phase I, II and III trials were all led by UCL. The drug used in the procedure, WST11, is derived from bacteria at the bottom of the ocean. To survive with very little sunlight, they have evolved to convert light into energy with incredible efficiency. This property has been exploited to develop WST11, a compound that releases free radicals to kill surrounding cells when activated by laser light. One of the first people to be treated with VTP was UCLH patient Gerald, a man in his sixties who took part in the latest trial under the care of Professor Emberton. He says: "When I was diagnosed with early prostate cancer, I had the option of active surveillance but I didn't want to wait until it got worse so when I was offered a place on the trial I signed up straight away. Some men prefer to delay treatment, but I couldn't live with the fear of the cancer spreading until it either couldn't be treated or needed a treatment that would stop me living a normal life. "The treatment I received on the trial changed my life. I'm now cancer-free with no side-effects and don't have to worry about needing surgery in future. I feel so lucky to be in this position. I've met other men who had surgery - they had to stay in hospital for days whereas I could go home the next day, and one suffered from terrible incontinence which he found very distressing. I had some minor side-effects for a few weeks after the operation, but I'm back to normal now. I am incredibly grateful to Professor Mark Emberton and his team for the excellent care that I received, and I hope that other patients will be able to benefit from this treatment in future." The VTP treatment is currently being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), so it is likely to be a number of years before it can be offered to patients more widely.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation - the charitable organisation of Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Victor Dahdaleh - has signed a formal agreement to donate £5 million to the British Lung Foundation to fund mesothelioma research in the UK. The donation, which matches government funding announced last year, was made official at a signing ceremony in the House of Lords today. It is the largest ever made to the BLF. The funding will support the development of new treatments for the disease by a combined research team from the University of Leicester, Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Cambridge, and the government-funded National Mesothelioma Research Centre at Imperial College in London. Today's ceremony was attended by a number of eminent peers and academics, including the sociologist Lord Giddens; entrepreneur Lord Borwick; and Professor Stephen Spiro, formerly head of respiratory medicine at UCLH. Speaking at the ceremony, Victor Dahdaleh said the Foundation was confident that the team would be able to deliver tangible benefits for patients. "We are delighted to be working in coordination with the British Lung Foundation, the UK Department of Health, and the research team to support the quest for new treatments for this terrible disease. "The UK already has leading expertise in mesothelioma research, and we believe that by working together in this way we can do even more. The professionalism we have already seen from everyone involved has been second-to-none." In an additional move towards greater collaboration between research centres, the British Lung Foundation has formed a Mesothelioma Research Network, involving the programmes at Leicester, Papworth and Imperial together with other specialist mesothelioma centres across the UK. Mesothelioma, a type of cancer commonly affecting the chest or abdomen, is on the rise in the UK, with 2,500 people dying from it each year. The disease is most closely associated with asbestos exposure and often kills with alarming speed. Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "It is hugely exciting for all of us here to be officially marking the start of a new chapter in research into mesothelioma. Along with the government funding announced last year, this generous support from the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation will enable us to coordinate a network of highly skilled researchers and greatly increase the size and scope of clinical trials. "We are also confident that this donation will prompt further funding and allow us to continue to expand the programme. We will not rest until we find a cure." The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation has a long history of supporting health-related causes around the world. In 2015, the organisation funded the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health - a state-of-the-art research facility at York University in Toronto, Canada. Also in Canada, the Foundation last year financed neuroscientific research at McGill University in Montreal into diseases including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's. In the UK, the Foundation is a long-standing supporter of research into cardiovascular disease, and has backed a range of studies carried out by teams at Imperial College and Royal Brompton Hospital. As well as healthcare, the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation promotes access to education by funding scholarships programmes that give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to study at top universities around the world. Victor Dahdaleh is the owner and chairman of Dadco, a privately owned investment, manufacturing and trading group established in 1915. A lifelong champion of close ties between Canada and the UK, he served as president of the Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce from 2004 to 2009. For more information on the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation, visit victordahdalehfoundation.com.


News Article | September 2, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

The tech giant’s subsidiary will use its artificial intelligence program to partner with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service on creating new treatment programs for head and neck cancer patients. The research project will be carried out at the University College London Hospital (UCLH). These forms of cancer can be difficult to treat, according to Deepmind’s announcement. Radiotherapy can improve survival rates, but this treatment regimen is an arduous process called segmentation requiring physicians to construct detailed maps of the patient’s body so the radiation can carefully target the cancer without damaging nearby nerves or organs. Deepmind’s goal is to carefully analyze an estimated 700 anonymized scans of UCLH patients. The hope is that this experiment could provide two important benefits. The first being that the software helps reduce the time needed to perform this segmentation process from four hours to one, allowing clinicians to have more time focus on patient care and research. Second, it could create a radiotherapy algorithm that could work on other parts of the body. No deadline has been set for this initiative. Deepmind is also working with the NHS on an initiative where its software is scouring over eye scans to determine if it can diagnose certain defects or diseases.


Lee S.F.,University College London | Lawrence D.,Heart Hospital | Booth H.,UCLH | Morris-Jones S.,University College London | And 2 more authors.
Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine | Year: 2010

Purpose of Review: Empyema is defined as pus in the thoracic cavity due to pleural space infection and has a multifactorial underlying cause, although a majority of them are post-bacterial pneumonia caused by tuberculosis or by infection following penetrating chest injuries or surgical procedures. It is still associated with significant morbidity and mortality in adults and children despite optimal management according to current guidelines. Historically, empyema management has been empirical, but more recent data are leading to more focused management guidelines. Recent Findings: The number of therapeutic agents licensed for intrapleural use or undergoing clinical trials in the management of empyema continues to expand, although their use is currently controversial and probably best limited to trials and specialist centers. Although their use is limited by availability, ultrasound and guided aspiration is the investigation of choice in suspected empyema. It is safer, more sensitive, provides more information, and, in the case of guided-drainage, is more likely to be effective. Finally, there is a growing body of literature that supports very early involvement of thoracic surgeons in empyema management. An emerging question for the future is whether some or indeed all patients with empyema should now bypass medical thoracostomy and proceed directly to video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for both acute and chronic empyemas. Summary: A summary of the most recent opinions and results in thoracic empyema management is outlined. Treatment of empyema can be summarized as appropriate antibiotic therapy combined with medical or surgical pleural space drainage, management of any underlying factors, with further surgery indicated for chronic disease. © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Moss C.E.,UCLH | Fernandez-Caballero S.,UCLH | Walker D.,UCLH
BMJ Case Reports | Year: 2015

A 68-year-old woman presented 3 weeks following unsuccessful transcatheter radiofrequency ablation (TcRFA) for treatment of her chronic atrial fibrillation. Neurological signs manifested on day 2 of admission with generalised tonic-clonic seizures and reduced Glasgow Coma Score. She was treated for presumed central nervous system (CNS) infection, intubated and transferred to the intensive care unit. CT of the head showed bilateral oedema secondary to acute embolic stroke. Blood cultures grew Streptococcus viridans, and lumbar puncture findings were consistent with CNS infection. Echocardiography showed only a septostomy puncture from the atrial fi brillation ablation procedure. Thoracic CT demonstrated air in the left atrium, consistent with the diagnosis of atrio-oesophageal fistula, a rarely reported iatrogenic complication of TcRFA. MRI of the head showed significant neurological injury with innumerable embolic infarcts. After discussion with her family regarding the significant neurological insult, and with no signs of any clinical improvement, the patient died on day 8 of admission. © 2015 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.


Scully M.,UCLH
Transfusion and Apheresis Science | Year: 2014

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura diagnosis and therapy has transformed with improved understanding of the disorder and availability of therapies. Plasma exchange remains the cornerstone of treatment. Prompt therapy can improves morbidity and mortality. However, given the plasma volumes used, those offering protection against transfer of microbes are preferable. Reviewed is a brief history of TTP and current plasmas available, their use and safety profiles, concentrating on the current UK recommendations. © 2014.


Clifford-Mobley O.,UCLH | Tims C.,UCLH | Rumsby G.,UCLH
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Background: Urine oxalate measurement is an important investigation in the evaluation of renal stone disease. Primary hyperoxaluria (PH) is a rare inherited metabolic disease characterised by persistently elevated urine oxalate, but the diagnosis may be missed in adults until renal failure has developed. Urine oxalate results were reviewed to compare oxalate:creatinine ratio and oxalate excretion, and to estimate the potential numbers of undiagnosed PH.Methods: Urine oxalate results from August 2011 to April 2013 were reviewed. Oxalate excretion and oxalate:creatinine ratio were evaluated for 24 h collections and ratio alone for spot urine samples.Results: Oxalate:creatinine ratio and oxalate excretion were moderately correlated (R=0.63) in 24-h urine collections from patients aged 18 years and above. Sex-related differences were found requiring implementation of male and female reference ranges for oxalate:creatinine ratio. Of samples with both ratio and excretion above the reference range, 7% came from patients with confirmed PH. There were 24 patients with grossly elevated urine oxalate who had not been evaluated for PH.Conclusions: Oxalate:creatinine ratio and oxalate excretion were discordant in many patients, which is likely to be a result of inter-individual variation in creatinine output and imprecision in the collection itself. Some PH patients had urine oxalate within the reference range on occasion, and therefore it is not possible to exclude PH on the finding of a single normal result. A significant number of individuals had urine oxalate results well above the reference range who potentially have undiagnosed PH and are consequently at risk of renal failure. © The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

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