Award-winning entrepreneur Peter Webber is seeking Welsh Government support to manufacture hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers that could be used to treat COVID-19 patients.
Mr Webber, founder of Newtown-based, multi-award-winning cancer diagnosis equipment specialist CellPath Ltd, is applying for support from the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 Resilience Innovation Project to make the HBOT chambers.
The company has also entered the £20 million Innovate UK fast-track competition to develop new ways to tackle global disruption such as that caused by Covid-19.
He has set up a new company, XXO2Cell Ltd, In partnership with Mike Mills, a former operations director of a Newtown manufacturer. The company will initially be based at CellPath’s headquarters whilst securing a separate manufacturing facility in the town.
Mr Webber has already reached an agreement with an Argentine manufacturer to supply HBOT chambers within Wales and says they could be made available to the NHS within weeks. The manufacturer supplies the chamber to 35 countries worldwide.
However, with Welsh Government support, XXO2Cell Ltd is planning to make its own HBOT chambers with additional features that the company says will surpass the current product designs from China and Taiwan.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the requirement for alternative, drug free and non-invasive methods of treating individuals with severe respiratory conditions that complement existing treatments, such as ventilators and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP),” said Mr Webber, 84, who uses a HBOT himself at home to maintain his fitness.
“Our vision is to provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) as an accepted and proven alternative therapy to assist in the recovery process and alleviate the pressure on the NHS by treating patients in a series of alternative clinics and locations.
“HBOT is an innovative and specialised oxygen treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing processes by inhalation of oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is controlled. This allows the body to absorb greater amounts of oxygen into the bloodstream.