Surrey Research Park

The clinical team at Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue, a purpose-built animal hospital that is changing the way cancer is treated in cats and dogs, has recently completed a Management Buyout (MBO) of the hospital with a small group of external investors

With the new owners in place, the hospital previously known as Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue, located at Surrey Research Park, is rebranding as AURA Veterinary. Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, who co-
founded the hospital with two of the existing Directors, is handing over to the clinical team who will continue to build on its successful work of the past seven years, focusing on animal oncology, soft tissue surgery, interventional radiology and internal medicine. 

Collectively, they are some of the most respected clinicians working in the field of animal cancer and interventional radiology worldwide. The buy-out was led by Professor Nick Bacon, Clinical Director, and Dr Laurent Findji, Senior Clinician, together with Dr Jonathan Bray and Dr Gerard McLauchlan. 

Professor Nick Bacon, who has led the clinical team since Fitzpatrick Referrals launched in 2014, comments: “It was a wonderful opportunity to be involved with a hospital like this from the very beginning, and it’s exciting to be part of its new chapter. We are hugely grateful to Noel for his vision in creating the hospital, which is unparalleled in the level of care, skill and innovation our team can provide for our patients.”

AURA Veterinary exists to provide exceptional care for animals and families. The team is driven by a commitment and passion to always advocate for animals and the veterinary industry. This includes contributing to the
veterinary community, investment in scientific innovation, and the creation of an open, transparent and collaborative culture, both in its hospital and in the wider community. 

Partnering with the University 
Over the last seven years, the team has benefitted from a strong relationship with the University of Surrey, which is located within close proximity to the hospital. Alongside providing key support on cutting-edge cancer and soft tissue research projects, the University offers valuable links with veterinary and bioscience students who are frequently based at the hospital for several months, and help with clinical research projects.

Harnessing the expertise of leading medical and surgical oncologists, nursing teams and researchers at the University of Surrey, the organisation is developing a deeper understanding of cancer diagnostics, treatment, and aftercare.

The clinicians at AURA Veterinary and the University of Surrey have partnered on a wide range of research projects. One recent, ongoing collaboration has helped establish a biobank to store tissue samples of spontaneous animal tumours, which will provide a valuable resource for the future to allow the team to understand how the tumours respond to specific treatments or how cancer might be diagnosed earlier.

Another project, funded by a University of Surrey Innovation grant, has been looking at a new blood sampling method that should allow easier detection of key biomarkers for genetic diseases such as cancer. Research projects are integral to the company’s work, with studies in animal oncology potentially contributing to breakthroughs in human medicine further down the line.

International perspective on veterinary science 
The University of Surrey is home to the School of Veterinary Medicine, and it is creating a vet school with a difference. While embracing the traditional values of professionalism, scientific curiosity, and clinical excellence, it is also developing a school with broad horizons. Its extensive network of partners in clinical practice, industry and research opens unique learning opportunities for the students and for industry-relevant research. Its global outlook ensures an international perspective on all aspects of veterinary science.

The BVMSci (Hons) Veterinary Medicine and Science course is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), giving students the academic requirements needed to register as a veterinary surgeon, once they graduate.

Educating the next generation 
AURA Veterinary is passionate about educating the next generation of vets. Placement opportunities will continue, providing students at the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine with fundamental skills and knowledge, alongside an insight into what it is like to work in referral veterinary medicine. 

The proximity to the veterinary school is a key factor when considering future opportunities for additional educational experiences and case exposure, including hands-on experience working with the hospital team, being involved in emergency cases, or using hospital facilities for practical training or clinical lectures.

Regional excellence 
Further cementing the regional excellence of animal health is the establishment of Veterinary Health Innovation Engine (vHive) at the University of Surrey. It is a research centre, start up and incubator hub supported by a co-investment of £8.5 million in resources dedicated to the development and adoption of new digital technologies in animal health. 

Surrey Research Park is also located near to the Pirbright Institute that aims to prevent and control viral diseases of livestock and those that spread from animals to people. Also, the Animal and Plant Agency (APHA), the executive agency of the Department for Environ-ment, Food & Rural Affairs that works to safeguard animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy is based in Weybridge, a short distance from Guildford.

For further information, contact: Professor Nick Bacon, Clinical Director on 01483 668100.

Related Posts

102 Going electric

Pressure is growing on UK motorists to ditch their petrol and diesel-powered vehicles and switch to pure-electric cars, but which are...

102 Hotel Gotham - a getaway in itself

The 5-star Hotel Gotham is swish, sexy and fun. Be swept away by the opulence and sensual moodiness of Batman’s fictional Gotham...

102 Marketing, marketing, marketing...

For me, the art and importance of networking fits well with this definition. Many people say they don’t have time for networking...