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15 February 2012

North West company receives £50K investment for innovative walking device for stroke patients

Press Release 15th February 2012

North West company, MoRow Limited received a £50k Pathfinder investment from SPARK Impact, managers of the £25m North West Fund for Biomedical, for development of its device to assist stroke survivors in standing and walking.

Every year, more than 150,000 people in the UK suffer from a stroke, with 85% of those going on to require professional care after becoming unable to walk or stand without help.

MoRow stands for Motorised Rehabilitation of Walking and their device is designed to help stroke patients at an early stage in their rehabilitation without the physical support of healthcare professionals. The motorised device assists patients to stand, balance, walk and sit in a natural way. The sit-to-stand facility is unique and broadens the use of the product to the elderly and disabled market, as well as patients recovering from surgery who may be temporarily incapacitated.

MoRow was formed by PDS Engineering, Medilink NW and Butters Innovation as a result of a previous research project with Salford University. The company, which intends to relocate to Liverpool, will use the £50k Pathfinder investment from SPARK to design and build the next generation of pre-production prototypes and software ready for patient trials later this year.

Jonathan Butters, director of MoRow, said: "We are delighted to be successful recipients of the Pathfinder investment from the North West Fund for Biomedical. This will enable us to accelerate the commercialisation of MoRow's technology and bring real benefits to stroke survivors, their carers and clinical support professionals.

"The statistic of stroke patients occupying 20-25% of UK hospital beds at any one time means there is great pressure to mobilise patients as soon as possible to reduce the length of stay and health costs. Our product enables early mobilisation and is of great interest to clinicians and managers."

The North West Fund for Biomedical is a sub-fund of the £185m evergreen North West Fund that is jointly financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Dr Penny Attridge, Senior Investment Director at SPARK Impact and manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, said: "MoRow is a fantastic example of a forward-thinking company with an innovative product that will revolutionalise care for stroke patients. The possibilities for this product potentially extend further than the field of care for stroke patients and address the wider challenges in mobility rehabilitation, making MoRow a very exciting company to work with."

MoRow is the 11th Pathfinder investment for the North West Fund for Biomedical and its 14th investment to date.

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