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Business Spotlight: Creo Medical

29 Nov, 2023

Based in Chepstow, Creo Medical is developing minimally invasive devices which can improve therapeutic endoscopic procedures and transform the lives of patients around the world.

Creo Medical joined GlobalWelsh’s Business membership programme in 2022. We caught up with Global Communications Manager, Rhys Davies to talk about Creo's pioneering technology and how this technology is having a positive impact on patients, doctors and hospital waiting lists.

Introduce us to Creo Medical…

We’re an international MedTech company based in Chepstow, Monmouthshire. We design, manufacture, and distribute cutting-edge MedTech devices which are transforming the way patients are treated for conditions in the Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract - from the oesophagus down to the bowel.

Our products are based on well over a decade of research and development. What our founder knew was that advancements in engineering and telecoms meant that cancers could be treated in the most minimally invasive endoscopic way using the advanced energy that existed in laparoscopic surgery but was not yet able to be applied to any degree in endoscopy.

We employ over 250 people at our Chepstow and Bath sites alone but have staff scattered across Europe, the US and APAC. We retain a strong R&D function alongside some of the most skilled microwave, telecommunications, and radiofrequency engineers anywhere in the UK.

"Our technologies are being adopted by healthcare providers, including over 20 NHS hospitals, all over the world."

Tell us about your products and the difference they are making in people’s lives…

Creo’s first products to market are the Speedboat family of products, enabling the removal of cancerous and pre-cancerous GI growths and of large lesions in the bowel, stomach, and oesophagus in the most minimally invasive way possible. The use of the Speedboat and its advanced energy capabilities preserves the organ, reduces the risks associated with incisions necessary for surgical procedures and dramatically shortens the length of hospital stay.

Our technologies are being adopted by healthcare providers, including over 20 NHS hospitals, all over the world. By enabling doctors to perform life-saving procedures efficiently and effectively on patients in the most minimally invasive way, we’re not only transforming healthcare delivery but patient recovery times as well.

"We also have a range of other endoscopic products for use in the pancreas, liver, lung and elsewhere which are all at various stages of commercialisation and adoption and similarly bring advanced energy to many minimally invasive procedures for the first time - the potential is very exciting."

Tell us a bit more about the innovation at Creo…

Whilst advanced energy is used in laparoscopic surgery, the emerging field of endoscopic surgery uses mostly basic monopolar radiofrequency (RF) electrosurgical energy. Relative to Creo’s technology, monopolar RF is 10x higher voltage, often resulting in the charring of tissue, which needs to flow through the patient’s body to return, has a higher risk of complications and requires an expert level of skill and long periods of training to become proficient.

Elsewhere snares can be used to endoscopically tear off lesions in the bowel. This procedure rarely removes the lesion in one and never with the correct margins for it to have the necessary margins to be curative. Our flagship product, Speedboat Inject does both through a combination of advanced energy previously only available in surgery and a high performing, multi-functional device.

It allows patients to be treated as a day case as opposed to being referred to surgery which, naturally, has all sorts of benefits.  We also have a range of other endoscopic products for use in the pancreas, liver, lung and elsewhere which are all at various stages of commercialisation and adoption and similarly bring advanced energy to many minimally invasive procedures for the first time - the potential is very exciting.

What does it mean to be a successful Welsh business?

Creo is proud to be a high-value employer In Wales and we’ve recently expanded our headquarters in Chepstow where we manufacture and ship our devices to our customers the world over. Our location is perfect for us, with access to major UK motorways, ports, airports, and talent, and right at the heart of a MedTech and life sciences ecosystem which is making a name for itself not just here in the UK but globally.

We seek to ensure that as many aspects of the CROMA platform and Speedboat Inject supply chain are sourced as locally as possible. We work closely with industry leaders and others to ensure that the products are truly 'Manufactured in Wales’.

"There is no doubt that this platform Is a valuable resource and one which Creo Medical could be gaining even more from and we look forward to exploring that and building on our presence on all aspects of the platform."

How is being part of the GlobalWelsh business community beneficial to Creo?

As a company, we operate across EMEA, APAC and the US. Being multinational, both in terms of the footprint of our employee base and the reach of our technology, GlobalWelsh offers us the capability to connect with like-minded individuals, innovators, and market leaders to provide support and opportunities for Creo on various projects in different localities.

We like to consider Creo and our employees a resource for others who are looking to establish an innovative MedTech business in Wales and having recently been recognised as the fastest growing company in Wales by FastGrowth 50 are always more than happy to share best practice in overcoming some of the hurdles in getting game-changing technology to market and navigating often challenging international regulations.

We also use the platform to advertise job opportunities and connect with like-minded individuals, highlight good news and investment opportunities and signpost certain events that we attend both in Wales and further afield.

There is no doubt that this platform Is a valuable resource and one which Creo Medical could be gaining even more from and we look forward to exploring that and building on our presence on all aspects of the platform.

"Alongside the continued development and adoption of our devices for treatment in the lung, pancreas and elsewhere, we look forward to continuing to treat an ever-growing number of patients across the globe."

Where would Creo like to be in the next 5 years?

Conventional surgery comes with a significant risk of morbidity and mortality compared to less invasive procedures such as endoscopy and robotic surgery. We are spearheading a technological revolution in healthcare by providing diagnostic and therapeutic tools that enable a transition from traditional surgery to minimally invasive and non-invasive techniques. This means fewer complications and shorter stays in hospital for patients while delivering more efficient patient pathways for healthcare providers.

We have recently partnered with multi-billion pound robotic surgery pioneers Intuitive Surgical and CMR Surgical to explore how our advanced energy could support this enormous rapidly developing market and so our continuous development in this field is likely to be an additional focus. Alongside the continued development and adoption of our devices for treatment in the lung, pancreas and elsewhere, we look forward to continuing to treat an ever-growing number of patients across the globe.

Quite simply, over the coming years we would like to further establish ourselves at the forefront of the next wave of gold-standard patient care, taking patients away from invasive and inherently more risky surgical procedures and making non-invasive, preventative measures the norm, dovetailing with early diagnosis.

Connect with Rhys and Creo Medical via Connect >>

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