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‘Superbug’ wet wipe project wins innovation award

18 June 2015

Business award
Dr Allen Hanouka, GAMA Healthcare; David Baynes, Chief Operating Officer, IP Group Plc; Professor Jean-Yves Maillard, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr Guy Braverman, GAMA Healthcare; Harsha Siani, KTP Associate.

A partnership which developed clinical wet wipes to tackle hospital 'superbug' infections has won a Business Innovation Prize at Cardiff University's Innovation and Impact Awards 2015, sponsored by leading law firm Geldards and IP Group

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Cardiff University and GAMA Healthcare has enabled the company to sustain its product development portfolio and remain at the forefront of innovation, whilst increasing the University's international reputation in infection control research.

GAMA, a UK market leader in clinical wet wipes, required clinical proof that their antimicrobial wipes were effective against the so-called 'superbug', Clostridium difficile.

A KTP grant was awarded by Innovate UK and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to support a two year project with Professor Jean-Yves Maillard, Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

A KTP Associate was recruited and played a key role, transferring Professor Maillard's knowledge and expertise into GAMA to set up and run clinical trials, whilst training staff across multiple departments.  This helped GAMA develop the next generation of products and lay the foundation for in-house research and development capability.

Harsha Siani, the KTP Associate said: "My role was to transfer scientific knowledge and expertise from Cardiff University into GAMA. Through the KTP, GAMA was able to ensure that their products not only complied with EU regulations, but also met stringent test conditions which better reflected product use. The project gave me lots of unique opportunities including travelling to China to educate staff at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; Hangzhou), which has opened further opportunities for collaborative research between CDC, Cardiff University and GAMA Healthcare."

Welcoming the award, Professor Maillard said: "Interaction with industry is crucial to optimise research application 'in the real world' and create impactful innovation - here, ensuring the product used as part of an infection control regimen in healthcare settings can make a difference and help infection control against troublesome pathogens."

"The partnership will further establish Cardiff University's international reputation for infection control, particularly in the use of antimicrobial wipe products."

Guy Braverman, Director and Co-Founder of GAMA Healthcare said: "The award is wonderful recognition of the great support we received from Cardiff University, not just in terms of enhancing our knowledge but in terms of practically embedding capability that enables us to continue as a UK market leader. Working with Cardiff University has enabled us to be an integral part of innovative research."

This KTP collaboration was rated highly by Innovate UK, which graded the project 'outstanding'.

The award was presented to Professor Jean-Yves Maillard (School of Pharmacy); Dr Guy Braverman and Dr Allen Hanouka (GAMA Healthcare Ltd) and Harsha Siani (KTP Associate) by David Baynes, Chief Operating Officer, IP Group Plc.