Tag Archives: Manchester Digital

Prof. Paulo Edwardo Stanga – The man behind the world’s first bionic eye transplant

In July 2015, Professor Paulo Stanga conducted the world’s first implant of a bionic eye. The pioneering technology means that patients who are completely blind are able to see for the first time, using technology which sends wireless signals between the brain and an implant in the retina.

Professor Paulo Stanga conducted the world’s first bionic eye transplant in July 2015, marking the beginning of a new era for patients with sight loss.

Over its 200-year history, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital has been home to a wealth of pioneering individuals who’ve pushed the boundaries in eye care. One such individual is Professor Paulo Stanga, who carried out the world’s first implant of an artificial retina, popularly known as a ‘bionic eye’, in patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Professor Stanga is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. He has travelled the world and held jobs in some of the busiest cities, from Buenos Aires, to New York, London, Liverpool and now Manchester. We meet him at a room in the NIHR/Wellcome Trust Manchester Clinical Research Facility surrounded by a number of specialist retinal imaging devices and looked on by a number of printed eyes displayed on posters attached to the walls. Professor Stanga became interested in pioneering research early in his career, saying that he wanted, “To challenge established concepts and develop new ways of treating patients.” Those early days were busy and demanding. He spent the early ’90s in New York working for Professor Harvey Lincoff who was one of the most famous retinal surgeons of his time. Paulo was working long hours in the week and also at weekends. He smiled as he said, “I even had to bring my wedding forward and delay my honeymoon in order to hit a deadline two days after I was married. My wife still reminds me now that we haven’t had a honeymoon.”

After New York, Paulo worked in London and Liverpool before settling in Manchester in 2003. “The opportunity was brilliant, the role gave me a chance to set up a team around my research and push on with pioneering trials.” After introducing, amongst others, new imaging and retinal laser technologies as well as treatment techniques into clinical care, in 2008 Paulo started setting up trials with the bionic eye. He worked closely with a US company called Second Sight who produce the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System also known as the bionic eye. The initial trial focused on the implantation of the bionic eye for complete blindness in Retinitis Pigmentosa. He subsequently set up a pilot study of the bionic eye system in Dry AMD, one of the most common forms of severe loss of central vision, which affects 20-25 million people worldwide and 44,000 more people per year in the UK. The condition causes an impairment of the central vision resulting in people being unable to discriminate faces, read or drive. The world’s first surgery on a patient with this condition was completed by Paulo in 2015 on 80-year-old Mr Flynn, whose central vision had completely disappeared. The procedure involved attaching the implant within one of Mr Flynn’s eyes. This implant receives its visual information from a miniature camera mounted on glasses worn by the patient. The information is then transmitted wirelessly to a receiver that sits on the wall of the eye and from which the information is transferred to an array of electrodes that sits on the surface of the macula where they stimulate the remaining cells and replicate the patterns of light and darkness for the brain. The surgery was a huge success and less than two weeks later Mr Flynn was able to detect patterns of horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines on a computer screen using the newly acquired central vision provided by the implant. Paulo said, “Over time Mr Flynn is learning to interpret these patterns of light and darkness and regain some central visual function.” The implant itself cannot provide any detailed vision but it can help patients to detect distinct patterns such as door frames and shapes without having to rely solely on their peripheral vision. Paulo praised all patients who are taking part in the trial.

“We are learning because of the courage and generosity of the patients taking part in this trial. At the moment there are only five patients in this trial but their involvement now means that in time we will be able to enrol others and this way help a lot more people. We are very excited and feel very positive about this trial. Our patients are the first ever human beings to experience the combination of their natural and residual with artificial vision. This successful integration of these two types of vision will hopefully pave the way for the treatment of many other causes of blindness”. Paulo told us that he still vividly remembers when one of the first patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa to be implanted in 2009 told him that, “Over Christmas he had seen fireworks for the first time in 30 years and also the glow of the Christmas lights, he could even make out his grandkids running towards him. These are the stories that drive us.”

These unique trials are only taking place through the Manchester Vision Regeneration (MVR) Lab at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and NIHR/Wellcome Trust Manchester Clinical Research Facility, as well as an independent Retinal Clinical-Research Fellowship Programme which Prof. Stanga set up in 2010 to contribute to this and other research. He said, “I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my team and the understanding of my family.” His fascination with the eye and his continued interest in how high end technology can help the medical industry allows Prof. Paulo Stanga to seek out solutions that haven’t been trialed or even thought of. He’s building a strong team and continues to treat patients with career defining surgery, improving the vision of many and in some cases restoring some visual function and helping patients to live more independently.

www.cmft.nhs.uk/royal-eye

Learn more about the #HealthcareHeroes at: www.healthcare-heroes.com

The story of Havas Lynx

30TH Birthday

This week officially marks the 30th year for Havas Lynx, so in the spirit of all things Lynx, we’re taking this opportunity to revisit the archives to see how we’ve gone from a team of two to become a powerful global healthcare communications agency with offices in Manchester, London and New York.

1986 – 1999

When we opened our doors as Creative Link, our aim was to work with clients who could bring about ‘positive social change’. Before three years were up, we’d won our first Pharmaceutical Marketing Award for our work with Rheumox, marking the beginning of our successful path in pharmaceuticals. The win was followed by a challenging pitch for Aricept, the first Alzheimer’s disease treatment. For patients and carers, this was the first glimpse of hope and the potential of a better outcome. Winning the pitch, we launched what became the world’s gold-standard treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

During the ‘90s, we also worked for our home city, branding and launching Manchester Arena; acting as sole creative agency for Manchester’s 2002 Commonwealth Games bid and designing the book: ‘Manchester – A Celebration’, part of the 1996 Olympic bid.

Remaining committed to our city, when the IRA bomb struck in 1996; the British Government and Manchester City Council enlisted us (now named Creative Lynx) to create the briefing package for the rebuilding and re-planning of Manchester city centre. We launched the package worldwide and Manchester came back, alive and kicking.

2000 – 2008

Whilst the ‘80s and ‘90s were time to build our business and reputation, the ‘00s were definitely time to build the team. We recruited four future directors and gained one of our biggest and longest-term clients who would contribute to the new shape of the agency; at the forefront of pharma.

In 2008, we found our new home in Princess Street; our founder, Stuart Wilson, stood down after 22 years at the helm, and the Senior Leadership Team as you know it today, stepped up. The year after, we were appointed to the London 2012 Olympic design and artwork rosters, the only Northwest agency from 13,000 others.

2009 – 2016

The last seven years have been some of the most instrumental in Lynx’s development and in 2012, we merged with Havas Worldwide and opened up our first offices in New York and London; our new name, Havas Lynx.

Externally, our work has had a profound impact on patients, healthcare professionals and the wider industry. Highlights include, our award winning work for JHI which has been clinically proven to reduce hospital referral by 58%. Our EGFR disease awareness campaign, which shaped national guidelines, and ensured patients received the correct medication at the correct time. And a series of industry firsts, from our pioneering CLM iPad eDetail Aid in China, to our breakthrough work in social media, and our globally recognised smart phone apps.

Internally, our focus has remained on building and retaining our culture #LYNXLife. As we continue to grow, it is our people that are key to our success. We significantly invest in our team to ensure they are equipped with all the tools they need to deliver exceptional scientific, strategic, creative, and innovative campaigns that truly make a difference. In 2014, we launched the unparalleled #LXAcademy, an internal training programme, to share knowledge, provide inspiration and develop our next generation of talented leaders. We also transferred our motto of #helpfulchange outside of healthcare by supporting the charity Born To Thrive. Rising over £30,000 for the charity and helping to send 43 children to school, and build three new classrooms to enable the children to finish their primary education.

All of this activity has seen us win many awards (totalling 72 so far) including one of our greatest accolades yet, Havas Agency of the Year and most recently PMGroup Communiqué Communications Consultancy of the Year.

 

Introducing #HavasVillageMCR

Havas Village Manchester, by David Hunt

Building the Havas brand in Manchester, and the Manchester brand across the world. 

On Tuesday 2nd November, we proudly held the exclusive launch of the UK’s first Havas Village: Havas Village Manchester. Creating a powerful creative and digital hub in our northern home, #HavasVillageMCR aligns Havas Lynx and our multi-talented network partners with a shared vision for the future.

The initiative draws together the expertise of Havas Lynx, Havas People, Havas PR, Havas Media and DBi. In the heart of our amazing city, we now have five Havas agencies and more than 300 communication experts delivering a seamless experience for our customers, and theirs.

The growth and magnitude of today’s digital channels has resulted in the dilution of the traditional boundaries between communications agencies. If we are to maximise investment and help consumers build meaningful relationships with brands, we must have a unified vision when it comes to strategy, creativity and media. As part of Havas Village Manchester, we do just this, expanding our reach and becoming stronger in our mission to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.

#HavasVillageMCR is situated within the centre of Manchester’s creative and digital community,  to leverage the exceptional talent within the city. In the past four years, Havas Lynx has doubled in size and seen some impeccable talent come in through the door, including over 75 graduates in the last three years alone, bringing their digital and social passion and fresh ideas into the mix. It’s because of this talent, and the vibrancy and power of Manchester that Havas are investing in the city. They see Manchester as it is; a key international hub.

Driven by the combined power of Havas & Manchester, #HavasVillageMCR will see the delivery of meaningful brands for today & tomorrow.

Office

PMGroup Communiqué Communications Consultancy of the Year

Agency of the Year, by David Hunt

The judges said, “Havas Lynx are not just preparing for the future, they are creating it.”

I agree, but not in isolation. Alongside our team, it takes great clients too. We’re incredibly blessed to work alongside some brilliant industry leaders, from all across the globe. Some have been with us since the beginning and the advent of the tablet-pc & closed-loop marketing. Others are new to the industry, but they share our vision & passion for pharma to make a meaningful & sustained impact on society. New, old, familiar, returning, former; we’re grateful to all of our clients and the role they’ve played in making us great.

We’re also very grateful to Havas Health and in particular Donna Murphy & Ed Stapor. A Global CMO of Top 10 Fortune 500 Company commented, “Your industry spends a fortune buying big digital companies, makes them worse, loses the talent, leaves them in a silo and fails to integrate them and deliver their expertise to us.” This could not be further from the reality of our transition from Creative Lynx to Havas Lynx. We’re faster, stronger, better, and significantly so. We’ve matured from a local digital shop to a global communications agency. Havas have been a catalyst for our development, ensuring that we can now boast scientific, strategic and creative excellence, alongside our unparalleled digital expertise.

From a young age, I came to understand the importance of a great team. Expertise, passion, diversity and a collective commitment are the cornerstones of our success. We mix recognised industry leaders with remarkable graduates, decorated creatives with proven engineers, and scientists with strategists. 95% of our staff are proud or very proud of the work they produce, and I am equally proud of them.

The final ingredient is the Havas Lynx Senior Team; myself, Neil Martin, Steve Nicholas, David Whittingham, and Tom Richards. With the exception of Tom, who is a recent addition, we have been together for a decade, enjoying almost all of it. It’s a great team, and one that I’m incredibly honoured to be part of. It’s reassuring to know that when times are hard, you are surrounded by experts & leaders that stand shoulder-to-shoulder. And equally, when times are good that you can celebrate with friends.Communique

What makes Havas Lynx special?

The #LXAcademy, by David Hunt

“What is your point of difference?”, “Why should I work with you?”, or my personal favourite, “What makes Havas Lynx so special?” The answer is always the same – the people. But “people” does not just happen by chance. It takes investment, it takes values & it takes culture.

On the 30th of April we launched #LXAcademy 2015 at Manchester Town Hall. It was an awesome event, which reflected our commitment to, and investment in, skills development. Lucy May was inspiring as she discussed the opportunities for progressive change in healthcare with a commitment to a more holistic patient journey, fuelled by creativity. Dave Birss then followed with some phenomenal case studies that were deconstructed to their core, as we explored the discipline behind creativity. Dave beautifully illustrated the power of ideas to drive change across society. However, the greatest point of inspiration was the collective passion & expertise of the Havas Lynx community, with over two-hundred experts committed to Helpful Change in healthcare.

Over the next six months there will be over one-hundred sessions, covering Agency Fundamentals, through to Core Expertise and Thought Leadership. Not everyone in an agency has an eye for design, not everyone can use PowerPoint, and not everyone has a quality first approach – they should. The curriculum for Agency Fundamentals seeks to change this. Numerous articles and research papers discuss the most likely reason an agency would be sacked, and it’s almost always a lack of quality, attention to detail, or put another way – the fundamentals. The details count, and they are a priority for Havas Lynx.

I’d like to be a better CEO, and I’m sure that I am not alone in wanting to be better at the day job. We’ll be tackling payors and market access, content designed for a more social world, and the account teams will spend time with a restaurant manager to discuss silver service. It’s amazing the amount agencies spend on recruitment and salaries, and then neglect training and development.

The Thought Leadership programme will include discussing teamwork and marginal gains in a Formula One pit-lane, how an NHS Trust uses twitter to manage patient well-being and how the police negotiate with terrorists. All of the sessions are made available on YouTube, with last year’s #LXAcademy attracting 100,000 views, to further validate the quality.

Like all things the success of the #LXAcademy 2015 will be based on the people, the more they put in the more they will get out. As always, I’m happy backing the Havas Lynx community.

Our Impact in 2014

Agency Management, by David Hunt

2014, great clients, great work, great team – a great year. They’ll always be lows, but not often are they so outnumbered by the highs.

Creative Lynx was founded in 1986, shortly after a design graduate joined, today he is a Managing Partner. In 2000 the agency sponsored a Product Design undergraduate, today he is the CEO. HAVAS LYNX have a heritage of investing in bright, passionate, ambitious talent, and 2014 was no different. Over twenty graduates joined the team this year, bringing a freshness to our thinking and contemporary ideas to our strategies.

Not so long ago our business was national, and whilst we still very much enjoy the challenges
that the local market represents, today the majority is global. It ensures our ideas have a more significant impact, that we can make a bigger difference & do more. But it also ensures that we support our local economies, generating significant inward investment to London & Manchester. In addition, we created an additional thirty jobs, or one job every two weeks.

Roller Coaster - blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve talked a lot about #LXAcademy, it reflects the pride I take in our achievement and the excitement for the 2015 curriculum. The #LXAcademy is not about new business, driving commercial success, or making money. It is a recognition that for all the big ideas & business strategies, we are only as good as our people. And the #LXAcademy ensures that ours remain the best.

In the last two years HAVAS LYNX have raised over £60k with a social reach of 200k for the causes we champion, and in the two weeks before Christmas we sponsored a year’s education for 42 children in Africa. It’s humbling to realise that the team’s passion to make a difference doesn’t start & stop with client budgets #HelpfulChange

The more you put in, the more you get out

Merger; From the Inside, by David Hunt

Part IV, Two years in & the lessons we learnt

With hindsight, would we still join Havas? If there were no financial incentives, would we still be willing to merge with a global network? Are we  proud to be HAVAS LYNX? Yes, yes and yes.

As I have previously discussed on this blog, there are numerous benefits to joining a global network. However in isolation, it is not a silver bullet. It requires considerable effort from both parties to fulfil the potential.

Working together

Working together

Our team have really embraced the opportunity that Havas represents. They’ve worked with talent from across the group, learning with every interaction, growing with new perspectives, ideas & confidence. In addition, their return is always accompanied with praise, gratitude & recognition of their passion, creativity & innovation. They are representing themselves, LYNX, Manchester & London.

Have our clients benefited from the Havas Strategic Toolbox? Yes, but not at first. The tools are exceptional, but also seductive. We became guilty of talking too much, and doing too little. But, you learn. Today we use the tools at the right time, for the right results. We leverage best-in-class strategy with creativity, innovation & delivery to exceed our client expectations.

Have our global campaigns benefitted from the global footprint? Absolutely. One of the networks greatest strengths is their ability to curate local opinions, challenges & opportunities. Havas Health invest significantly in Global & Regional meetings, the result is a genuine willingness to collaborate across international boundaries.

Fiscal pressure & the patent cliffs are driving big Pharma to explore potential cost efficiencies. The hottest concept is decoupling, with investment focused towards insight, ideas, intellect. Havas prioritise thought leadership, and we are supported to do the same. Today we invest heavily in research & development; publishing white papers on our insights, piloting smart technologies & establishing strategic partnerships.

And for me? It was a challenge, it was a far steeper learning curve than I had expected. But that’s brilliant, it’s sparked my interest, maintained my passion, & driven my ambition. Like the rest of the team, I have now got a much bigger pitch to play on.

Part I, Initial engagement

Part II, Finer details

Part III, Business as usual