Medical technology company, PolyPhotonix, saw a surge in global demand for its award-winning diabetic sleep mask following significant American investment.

The company, which was founded by artist-turned entrepreneur, Richard Kirk, secured the investment following expansion into the NETPark Explorer building at the North East Technology Park (NETPark), in Sedgefield, County Durham.

The investment allows the company to work on FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval in America for its revolutionary Noctura 400 Sleep Mask. The mask uses light therapy treatment to treat diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular odema and has won many international awards, including NHS Innovation awards. It could save the NHS about £300 million per year on adoption.

Diabetes is the second most common underlying condition among COVID-19 patients who have died, of which 35% had the illness. During the coronavirus pandemic government advice had been for patients with high risk conditions not go to hospital, which meant that patients with diabetes receiving hospital treatment for diabetic eye disease were at risk. Patients receiving the PolyPhotonix Noctura 400 treatment have continued to receive treatment where patients who are being treated using the usual NHS treatments have not and are at risk. A recent study funded by the NHS has shown that 94% of all patients who used the mask showed significant stabilisation and in many cases improvement of the central diabetic maculopathy and vision with some patients seeing a reverse of their condition.

PolyPhotonix was established in 2009 and develops healthcare solutions in therapeutics using bi-photonics (the science of understanding the effect of light on the body) in medical device products, such as its Noctura 400 mask.

The company employs 12 staff and has moved across the park into new offices at Explorer, NETPark’s latest addition which offers science, engineering and technology companies combined clean room, laboratory and office space between 1,250 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft.

Said Richard: “It’s nice to have our own office at NETPark and Business Durham has been great. We’ve restructured the business and they’ve supported us as we’ve moved into bigger premises. We couldn’t have asked for better landlords.”

From its base, the company is focusing on markets in America, Asia, Brazil and Argentina following successful evaluations, and in Oman following a successful clinical trial at the Royal Police Hospital. Thanks to its recent investment by American firm Revere Capital Advisors, PolyPhotonix which has secured an office in New York as part of its funding, is looking ahead to securing FDA approval. They also have clinical trials underway in Hong Kong.

Said Richard: “It’s been a really good few years for us and we’re looking to take on another three/four staff by the end of the year. We have very much become international and the Americans are investing for the long term.”

NETPark is the only science park in the North East and only UK science park with two UK catapult centres. The site offers more than 118,000 sq ft of world-class clean room, laboratory and office space, in addition to 26 acres of development land to the north of the park. Find out more at northeastechnologypark.com

To find out more about PolyPhotonix visit polyphotonix.com/

Richard Kirk, founder and CEO PolyPhotonix

It’s nice to have our own office at NETPark and Business Durham has been great. We’ve restructured the business and they’ve supported us as we’ve moved into bigger premises. We couldn’t have asked for better landlords.

Richard Kirk, Founder Polyphotonix.

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