ONE of Country Durham’s most innovative companies is expanding its research and development capabilities.

PolyPhotonix has moved to a larger site on the North East Technology Park (Netpark) at Sedgefield, after securing a £200,000 invoice finance facility from Lloyds Bank.

Founded in 2009, PolyPhotonix develops light therapy treatments for macular eye disease as well as other medical conditions. The company has grown from one employee, to manufacturing a phototherapy eye mask that independent health economists working with the NHS estimate could save in excess of £1 billion a year on adoption

Unlike traditional treatments for the condition, such as injections and laser therapy, the PolyPhotonix mask called the Noctura 400 is non-invasive and has been designed to be worn at night to deliver a precise dose of light therapy to patients while they sleep. Extensive trials have produced remarkable results, Richard Kirk, the firm's chief executive told The Northern Echo.

Since launching, the mask has been sold widely in opticians across the UK, and the firm has now started export sales in Europe.

Mr Kirk said: “The past few years have been extremely exciting for the company, as we’ve brought the Noctura400 to market and started to export, and the move to the new premises will help us to continue with our rapid rate of expansion.

“I have worked with light all my life, first as an artist and then more recently in my research and development companies, working on bio-photonics based research.

“However, being able to use my expertise to develop a product which could benefit so many people is extremely rewarding.

“In the coming years we will be concentrating on evolving a range of new products, and having our own dedicated labs should aid the research and development process significantly.”