Minimally invasive treatment for prostate problems wins NZ innovation award


Minimally invasive treatment for prostate problems wins NZ innovation award

Media release from the Medical Technology Association of New Zealand
3 minutes to Read
Teleflex medical MTANZ Innovation Award
1. Presenting the MTANZ Innovation Award for 2019 to Steve Bloem, Regional Sales Manager, Surgical Teleflex Medical are Jonathan Lucas partner of James & Wells (right) and Erin Currie, MTANZ Chair.

A minimally invasive treatment for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has won the James & Wells Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) Innovation Award for 2019.

Teleflex Medical received the Innovation Award for its UroLift ® System from Jonathan Lucas, partner at James & Wells, at the Health Tech Week Gala Dinner last night (July 2).

Enztec was also named as the winner of the James & Wells MTANZ Manufacturing and Export Award for its Ligament Tensioner at the awards last night. The awards are open to both imported and locally-developed medical devices.

“Medical devices available to NZ patients and clinicians are among the best in the world, as shown by these devices. Our members constantly strive to be innovative to deliver better outcomes for patients and enable us to be highly competitive on the world market,” says MTANZ chief executive Faye Sumner, CNZM.

BPH, also known as an enlarged prostate, is a common condition marked by bothersome urinary symptoms that can cause loss of productivity, depression, interrupted sleep and decreased quality of life.1 More than 40 percent of men in their 50s have BPH and more than 80 percent of men in their 70s have BPH. If left untreated, the condition can worsen over time and cause permanent bladder damage.2

Before UroLift, men had three pathways for treatment: Watch/Wait, medication or tissue destructive surgery.

The UroLift System is a minimally invasive approach that shows symptom relief significantly better than medication with a risk profile better than surgery. It is the only treatment with no new, sustained erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction and is a simple and straight forward procedure offering a better patient experience. The device may be permanently implanted in a transurethral outpatient procedure.

UroLift reduces the overall cost to the health system by shortening overnight hospital stays associated with traditional surgical interventions.
The judging panel said of Urolift, “An innovative alternative to conventional methods of treating benign enlarged prostate issues with little side effects and no drugs.”

Meanwhile, Christchurch-based Enztec’s won an award for its ‘X-Wing’ ligament tensioner, an instrument system which enables pre-tensioning of a hamstring tendon graft during anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery.

Enztec’s research showed that of the tensioning instruments previously available on the market, most could only tension up to 100N whereas evidence had suggested that 300N was optimal. Enztec developed an instrument that could meet this need yet be applied with minimal effort by hand.

Using this instrument and a new surgical technique, surgeons can improve tensioning of the ligament graft, while improving graft strength and functional outcomes for the patient, all while harvesting a single tendon rather than two as previously. This offers the patient improved quality of fixation, improved stability and a quicker return to sporting activities.

This instrument was designed, manufactured and evaluated in New Zealand. It is distributed by Smith & Nephew and has been successfully launched into Australasia.

The Enztec product was showcased at the world’s largest US orthopaedic convention in March 2019 – it was so well received that preparations are well underway to launch this NZ-created technology into the US market.

The awards were judged by Anne Kolbe ONZM, Diana Siew CMDT and MedTech Centre of Research Excellence and Professor John Windsor on the product’s significant contribution to improving patient outcomes by enhancing quality of life, as well as evidence of technical excellence and innovation.

Innovation Finalists:
3M New Zealand – 3MTM CavilonTM Advanced Skin Protectant
EBOS Healthcare – ZeroCast Wx
InterMed Medical – MiniMedR 640GR System with SmartGuardR Technology
InterMed Medical – Philips Respironics DreamWear Full Face Mask
Mediray – Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System
Obex Medical Ltd – VACOped Vacuum Moon Boot
Teleflex Medical – UroLift System

Manufacturing & Export Finalists:
HT Systems – HT Systems KeraTM Patient Lifter
ENZTEC Ltd – Ligament Tensioner

About MTANZ: The Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) ( is the national association representing companies in the medical technology industry. MTANZ aims to ensure the benefits of modern, innovative and reliable medical technology is delivered to the community for a healthier New Zealand.

1. Speakman et al. 2014 BJUI International.I
2. Tubaro et al. 2003 Drugs Aging.

2. Presenting the MTANZ Manufacturing and Export Award for 2019 to Iain McMillan, General Manager, ENZTEC are Jonathan Lucas partner of James & Wells (right) and Erin Currie, MTANZ Chair