Oxford hospital’s software innovation set to revolutionise advanced arthritis drug treatment for uk patients

* Award-winning EvaluLogix™ set to save the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds *

* Award-winning EvaluLogix™ set to save the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds *

OXFORD, UK - [insert date]: Oxford’s world-class orthopaedic hospital, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, has pioneered new software - EvaluLogix™ - which will radically simplify the complex process of patient assessment for advanced arthritis treatment and could save the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process.  A licensing deal with global pharmaceutical giant, Roche, has already been signed in the UK.

EvaluLogix has been developed by Dr Raashid Luqmani, a senior consultant at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC) and took an NHS Innovations Awards in 2006.  It will enable clinicians to identify easily patients’ suitability for advanced rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatments – know as biologic therapies.  The new software could be used to assess up to 38,0001 patients in the UK who may be helped by these treatments.  It is being marketed in the UK by EPS Research.

Biologic therapies are mainly used to treat severe RA. The currently licensed biologic treatments, anti-TNF’s and b-cell therapy rituximab, work in different ways. A new biologic therapy, abatacept, has been given positive opinion by the CHMP and is currently awaiting license, once licensed it will also be monitored through the EvaluLogix system.

Anti-TNF treatment costs between £9,000 and £18,000 per patient per year, and is effective in around 60-70% of cases.  As a result, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) requires a rigorous and complex assessment of patients before and during treatment, to ensure that anti-TNF is targeted specifically at those likely to respond positively to it. EvaluLogix has been designed to simplify and standardise the assessment process, and is the first software available in the UK to provide this type of decision support for clinical teams. Rituximab, in combination with methotrexate, is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with severe active RA who have had an inadequate response or intolerance to one or more tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor therapies, and is currently being reviewed by NICE.
 
Dr Luqmani, Consultant Rheumatologist at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, says: “We see several hundred patients in our department each year, so making manual calculations for each of them based on the highly complex NICE criteria for assessing anti-TNF treatment would have been impossible. 

“EvaluLogix offers compelling benefits for clinical teams, such as very accurate assessment of patients for their suitability for anti-TNF therapy against agreed international scoring scales.  It also means that we can identify very quickly those patients who are not suitable for certain biologic treatments and put them onto alternative treatments which will work better for them.  The system is simple to use, provides robust decision-making and research data, and has the added benefit of reducing administrative workload by automatically generating things like patient and GP letters. It makes our anti-TNF clinic at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre extremely efficient and means we can treat more patients.”

Dr John Stedman Chief Executive of NHS Innovations South East is quoted as saying “As part of our working in partnership with the Trust we have been able to bring together Dr Luqmani with a small company such as EPS whose expertise in the development software products for medical applications have made it possible to take a basic spreadsheet and progress it to a software package that was of commercial interest to an international company such as Roche.  This is an excellent example of how an NHS clinician can directly improve patient care using innovation. It also acts as an inspiration to other NHS staff, that their ideas are valued and can benefit patients.

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