Empowering prevention and control of diseases
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released its list of threats to global health in 2019. Making the top 10 is noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. These conditions are collectively responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide.
WHO also predicts that the world will face another influenza pandemic. Effective and equitable access to diagnostics, vaccines and antivirals (treatments) is vital, especially in developing countries.
10 threats to global health in 2019
Antimicrobial resistance – the ability of bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi to resist antibiotics continues to be one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development. To combat this, the healthcare industry must invest in research and development of new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics and other tools.
Ebola and other high-threat pathogens are on the list for concern. Ebola is on WHO’s watchlist for priority research and development along with several other haemorrhagic fevers, Zika, Nipah, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and disease X, which represents the need to prepare for an unknown pathogen that could cause a serious epidemic.
YES alumni have considered major technological breakthroughs to improve world health
CryoThaw (University of East Anglia) presented a solution that allows hearts to be cryopreserved and reanimated back to a viable state. Allowing for extended storage times and improved post-transplantation outcomes.
Gexoderm (Queen Mary, University of London) formulated a gel containing antibacterial agents and natural proteins which accelerates wound healing.
Global Diagnostic Solutions (Queen Mary University of London) invented a novel non-invasive diagnostic test to detect global infectious diseases. Their primary product detecting malaria and monitoring outbreaks.
Health & Co (University of Sheffield) discovered a small molecule capable of inhibiting sperm motility without reducing testosterone, applied to be used as a male contraceptive method.
Mind-Tech Ltd (University of East Anglia) developed a diagnosis kit for depression. Using saliva samples the kit gives an instant and accurate diagnosis, abolishing stigma and making depression biologically visible.
Phycosol (University of Cambridge) developed a sunscreen compound sustainably derived from algae giving 5 days’ protection against the sun with a single application.
Radical thinking when engaging in YES19
At the Biomedical workshop, hosted by GSK & Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, teams of entrepreneurial scientists and engineers will be working towards solving some of the world’s greatest health challenges by thinking outside the box about:
Find out more
- diagnostic tests
- medical devices
- drug delivery
- drug discovery
- healthy ageing
- new tools for therapies