Sagentia hopes ventilator model will find a global use
Cambridge tech innovator Sagentia has conceded that it is now improbable that its ventilator, created for the UK’s government-funded challenge, will be manufactured.
The Cabinet Office told Business Weekly at the time of going to press that decisions were awaited on projects funded to date but on which crunch calls about taking them forward must now be made.
These include not just the Sagentia effort but also ventilators co-developed by other Cambridge players, TTP and Cambridge Consultants.
Another contribution by Cambridge’s Team Consulting – was eliminated from the challenge on April 28 when the Government said decisions would be made on all the surviving proposals within a week.
Sagentia is understood to be the only participant in the programme to both design a brand new ventilator and to establish its own ISO13485-compliant, volume manufacturing capability for the new device.
Materials to assemble the first 500 Sagentia Ventilators have been fabricated and/or procured, together with additional long lead-time parts for the larger volume.
All funding for materials procurement was received in advance, with title retained by Cabinet Office, and Sagentia’s quoted parent company Science Group understands that all other costs incurred will be reimbursed.
Sagentia’s model was developed through a highly innovative software-free approach creating a unique ventilator design, primarily based on mechanical fabrication.
The latest version of the refined Sagentia device has been re-tested at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s designated laboratory.
While the MHRA believes no more new ventilator designs are likely to be deployed in the NHS, it has been suggested to the Cabinet Office that the Sagentia Ventilator is ideally suited for use in developing countries.
The robust device, based on a software-free, mechanical fabrication design with efficient oxygen usage, could be locally manufactured and supported, enabling a sustainable, in-country ventilator capability. This was always part of the vision. Since most of the components are custom-fabricated, negligible value will be realised through inventory liquidation of existing materials while, at minimal incremental cost, the initial 500 units could be rapidly deployed, the company confirms.