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Touch EMAS Secures Investment to become Scotland’s First NHS Spin-out Company

Touch EMAS, the first NHS spinout to be launched through Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL), has secured seed investment from Archangels, the leading group of Edinburgh-based business angels. The company, led by CEO David Gow, has developed a pioneering modular system of upper limb prostheses, incorporating the world's first electrically-powered shoulder. This unique technology will bring vastly improved quality of life to the many patients worldwide who have lost their upper limbs due to accident or illness, as well as providing significant benefits to healthcare providers.

For many years Edinburgh's Bioengineering Centre has been in the forefront of research in Artificial Arm Prostheses. The Centre, now part of Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust's Rehabilitation Engineering Services, has consistently attracted world-wide acclaim for its development work on the Edinburgh Modular Arm System (EMAS).

The investment by Archangels, in combination with the company's SMART award, enables Touch EMAS to accelerate its development and manufacture of the 4 different unique artificial arm components (shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands) of the modular system. The modularity of the Touch EMAS product will allow much greater flexibility, quality of care and cost benefits than any other prostheses currently available, and it is truly a world-first.

Scottish Health Innovations Ltd., recently founded to assist the NHS in Scotland to exploit the undoubted commercial potential of its intellectual property, becomes a shareholder in Touch EMAS on behalf of the Lothian Primary Care Trust.

David Gow, the CEO of Touch EMAS and inventor of the prosthetic technology, said: "There has been a huge amount of work done to set up this unique arrangement of a spin out from the NHS. Additionally, I am grateful to legal firms Maclay Murray Spens and Murray Beith Murray for their generous support. Now Touch EMAS can drive forward, bringing to market our pioneering prosthetic work for the benefit of patients worldwide, as well as the NHS in Scotland. We are on the verge of an extremely exciting opportunity and I can't wait to get started"

Peter Shakeshaft of Archangels said: "Archangels is delighted to have invested in Touch EMAS, the first NHS spin out through SHIL. We are confident that our seed investment round will enable proof of concept of this unique and innovative technology and look forward to providing further significant funding in the months to come."

David McBeath, CEO of SHIL, said: "Touch EMAS is a wonderful example of the excellence of commercially exploitable technology residing in the NHS in Scotland. SHIL has worked closely with all parties involved to spin out our first company from the NHS, and with the launch of Touch EMAS, SHIL has now established a robust commercialisation process which I am confident will lead to many more NHS spin outs".

Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust Chairman, Garth Morrison, said: "This is an exciting venture for the Trust to be involved in - to see a spin off company emerging from the NHS. It is a real justification of the NHS to see good ideas from the Primary Care Trust being developed and made more widely available to patients."