An Amazing Journey
By Elizabeth Ward
Today I would like to highlight the fantastic success of one of our clients Trio Healthcare.
In the last month, Trio has announced the opening of an office in New Jersey as well as the green light for a key innovative technology of theirs in the United States.
The upshot of this is that they’re primed and ready to make some serious waves stateside - and we could not be happier for them!
This is an amazing journey that started with some key innovation in an area that was somewhat overlooked by many healthcare companies and had accordingly stagnated.
Trio Healthcare was established in 2006 – named so as there were three founders.
The big idea came from a difficulty a family member had with a stoma (a surgical diversion from the stomach to an ostomy bag on the outside of the body).
The team at Trio understood the problems of conventional technology which used a type of sticking plaster over the surgical wound. The adhesive properties of the traditional hydrocolloidal plaster-based ostomy bags caused frequent problems as they removed either healthy or repairing tissue when removed from the skin.
They also made changing bags very uncomfortable and frequently enabled skin breakdown and infection at the ostomy site, having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of the ostomate. Inevitably, ostomates would change how they live their lives to accommodate the consequences of having a stoma, which includes the risk of leaks, sore skin, and the convenience of changing their appliances.
Trio came up with the idea of using silicone-based adhesive products as a solution, thereby allowing a patient greater comfort and flexibility when wearing or removing a bag.
Trio innovated using new materials and designs and patented their technology. Clinical trials soon established that the bags were as secure and ‘leakproof’ as traditional ones with benefits that were previously ruled out for ostomates such as comfort, security, and a full night’s sleep. The patients, carers and nurses dealing with the new silicone-based products liked both the look, feel and efficacy of the new Trio designs and their excitement of a genuinely new product in a stagnant area of healthcare was palpable.
Soon Trio was recognised, with awards in 2008, 2009 and 2011:
- 2008 – UK Trade & Investment, Start-up of the Year Award
- 2009 – UK Trade & Investment, Export Award
- 2011 - Queen’s Award for Enterprise (for International Trade, specifically)
And more recently in 2018 a second Queen’s Award for Innovation, 2021 Medical, Life Sciences and Healthcare Award as well as The Great British Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 for Health and Well-Being. This is testimony to the industry recognition as to the importance of the work that Trio is doing.
I think you’ll agree that this was a fantastic start for Trio, one that both would affirm their mission, to support the comfort of ostomy wearers with healthy intact skin.
Virtuoso Legal helped Trio get up to speed in 2011 and we’ve continued to assist ever since. This started with looking not just at the brands Trio need to protect globally but also looking at their designs and understanding their patent portfolio and other IP.
We put together an IP strategy for Trio that curated all the key IP assets and put together a formula for protecting them internationally at the best value for money.
We continue to help Trio grow and advise them on all many aspects of their IP portfolio. It is hugely satisfying to us to see these brilliant and innovative clients grow and succeed. From little acorns, mighty oaks will grow.
The next step to growth was seemingly twofold.
Number one: expand the range of complementary and associated products hinging on the initial idea, insight and technology.
This resulted in the development and release of 6 new products over the course of 2015 and 2016.
Number two: expand the range of territories that the products are available in. By 2020 Trio products were available in 22 countries worldwide – a number that is continuing to expand moving forward.
With the announcement of their New Jersey office and additional personal joining the top table of the team, you can only surmise that the only way is up for Trio – especially when you consider the size and potential of an innovative product such as this in the US pharmaceutical market.
The granting of the patent for Trio’s Sil2™ technology means that alongside the hiring of their US team (Jay Thompson, Nick Noble and Andy Marxen) – Trio is now set to take the States by storm and help hundreds of thousands more ostomates with their fantastic products.
It really is a success story that has a feel-good factor.
The power of an idea
All of this came from a single idea and the personal experience of a family member of the Trio team.
When you have an idea like that there is a duty of care and custodianship required to nurture it over time into an impactful reality.
We spoke to Trio founder and CTO Lloyd Pearce, who commented:
“Trio Healthcare has worked with Virtuoso Legal since our start-up days when they were introduced to us as a ‘law firm that would help us grow’. The team at Virtuoso Legal is absolutely brilliant and efficient, always understanding the urgency of their input.
They have held our hand, many times leading the way, always being proactive, guiding us to what we need to do in the area of trademarks and brand protection. They are such an important element of our business that we think of the team as part of our internal business, even though they are located externally.
The IP strategy has been central to the protection of this revolutionary technology and now our Trio® products are now available in over 22 countries. It’s fair to say, that we could not have done this without the IP services of Virtuoso Legal.”
We are delighted to have been there for Trio every step of the way through this journey, assisting them, where required, to secure their key brands, designs and IP in countries they have continued to expand into (and much more).
As with many of our clients, it is stories of big ideas realised that drives the team here to do what we do.
I hope that this story is one that inspires you too.