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By July 2, 2020January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

Innovative and award-winning self-catheterisation specialists Hunter Urology based in Exeter, has ‘Rocked the World’ of medicine with its ground-breaking development of EmtevaPure®.  The new product designed for women which has taken years to bring to market is the world’s first catheter to dissolve entirely in water in just 30-60 minutes! 

Established in 2001, Hunter Urology is based on the Exeter Airport Business Park with six employees and a T/O of just under £1m with overall 20% growth last year.  Revenue is split 50% internally within the UK and 50% export – Hunter Urology is well-known for producing ‘Gold Standard products’ which is why as a well-respected British company they do so well overseas with the biggest market being Denmark, because of the sustainability aspect.

Hunter Urology was founded by Gary Hunter who has a wealth of experience in the Urology market, spanning three decades. Pioneering in urological innovation, Gary is passionate about helping both continence healthcare professionals and patients who do either short or long term Intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC).

The new British-made product, offers a clean, safe and easy way for female patients to drain their own bladders, is launching in the world-wide market.  Patients will also benefit from an easy grip handle and a unique end cap used as an opening and closing mechanism for users to comfortably insert into the bladder and decide, in their own time, when they are ready to drain.

EmtevaPure® is a revolutionary alternative to current intermittent catheters which are currently made from PVC, and the great news is that EmtevaPure® is available free on prescription for patients in the UK who need to self-catheterise  simply ask for it by name from your doctor or clinician, or feel free to contact Hunter Urology direct for your free sample.

Keeping production local, EmtevaPure® has been predominately developed, designed and manufactured by local independent companies across the region.  This includes the eco-friendly outer box, instructions, and all packaging made from 100% recyclable materials produced in Exeter.

Hunter Urology has spent up to three years developing this new technology with Cornish manufacturing company Polymermedics based in St. Austell. 

Neil Skyba, Operations Director – Polymermedics said: “At Polymermedics we make orders from 500 parts up to larger orders of 2 million and we continuously invest in our experienced team and the latest equipment in order to be at the forefront of our industry.”  He adds: “It’s been an amazing journey working with Gary and his dedicated team and as a Cornish manufacturer we are delighted to be part of the production of this ground-breaking pioneering world-class medical product.”

Hunter Urology’s managing director, Gary Hunter, self-catheterises himself after being diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and completed treatment in December of the same year. Gary Hunter said: “All Hunter Urology ISC/CIC catheters are unique, and we strive to develop new technologies for the future.  It’s been years of intense designing, testing and developing EmtevaPure® and I’m very excited that all the hard work has finally paid off as we go to market with our latest new product.  We have also strived to source 99% of the design and manufacture of this product using independent companies across the South West, helping to keep investment in the local economy.” 

He adds: “Intermittent self-catherisation is an effective way to treat bladders that are not able to empty on their own; helping people who have a health condition, or injury that affects them being able to empty their bladder naturally.  EmtevaPure® has a unique opening and closing mechanism which means the user can insert the catheter into the bladder and decide, in her own time when she is ready to drain. It also has a unique hand gripper which enables patients with poor hand dexterity to self-catheterise more easily.”

The ingenious EmtevaPure® ISC catheter is made from Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVOH), a non-toxic polymer which is fully dissolvable in fluid. Originally produced as a replacement for gelatine in pharmaceutical drug capsules, PVOH removes the need for animal-based derivatives and by-products, therefore making it an ethical alternative. Although PVOH has been used for other applications such as pill casings and dishwasher tablets, EmtevaPure® is the first catheter to use PVOH for urinary care. 

The material completely dissolves in water and, therefore is a perfect solution to reducing plastic waste in the NHS, also in our oceans as well as not contaminating the environment.

According to Urology trade association data, it’s estimated that a staggering 6 million people in the UK are affected by urinary incontinence, and many rely on urology appliances every day.  On average five catheters are used each day by individual ISC patients totalling a staggering 1,825 which equated to 150 kg of waste per patient going to landfill and taking hundreds of years to biodegrade!  Reducing patient and healthcare providers’ reliance on plastic, EmtevaPure® offers a safe, clean and easy way for female patients to drain the bladder. By switching to EmtevaPure® self-catherisation, female patients will not only have an increased quality of life but also significantly contribute to the reduction of plastic waste and cost to the NHS.

Gary comments: “Reducing reliance on plastic that would otherwise be polluting our oceans and contaminating the environment, is a huge factor when considering ways to look after our future planet. That’s why we developed the EmtevaPure®, a product that is not only easy to use and conveniently disposable, but also sustainable.  It’s a world-first and has the potential to really make a difference to our eco footprint.”

He concludes: “Everything stops with the bladder, so when something is preventing you from doing this naturally, it has the potential of effecting your whole life. However, by giving patients the ability to do ISC to empty their own bladder it gives them, dignity, independence and more freedom to lead as close to a normal life as possible.”