Paxman Coolers Ltd needed to gain greater medical acceptance for its scalp cooling equipment in order to make it more widely acceptable as a treatment against hair loss during chemotherapeutic cancer treatments.
Despite significant empirical evidence of the efficacy of scalp cooling, uptake of the treatment was being hampered by a lack of clinical or biophysical studies that might explain the variable success rate.
The company engaged the expertise of researchers at two of the University of Huddersfield’s academic schools. Initially funded by an Innovation Voucher from Kirklees Council, Paxman started working with the School of Applied Sciences using its cutting-edge cell biology techniques to help identify the mechanisms that govern patients’ variable responses to scalp cooling. Following additional funding from Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and Technology Strategy Board (TSB) grants and from the Collaborative Ventures Fund at the University, the School of Art, Design and Architecture then joined the team to investigate the design of the scalp cooling cap.
It was the first time Paxman had worked within a KTP and for Patrick Burke, Technical Manager, the support from Services to Business was invaluable: “It’s quite rare to hold both KTP and TSB grants at the same time but the University’s Business Development Manager, Susan Lipthorpe, saw the opportunity for us to work across different departments and knew how to access the right funding to do this. Previous validation of our cooling caps came purely from customer feedback so having the credentials of the University to support our grant applications gave them far greater weight.
“Clinical trials can take so long” says Mr Burke, “but the models developed by the University support the principle of cooling and are a great help in our efforts to convince a sceptical medical community.
“There was an absolutely productive relationship between all the partners. They are highly skilled academics but also completely understood the practical and business aspects of the project.”