Winners announced for £2m programme to commercialise life sciences discoveries
17 March 2017
A cure for pancreatic cancer, virtual reality rehabilitation, data-driven robotic surgery, and futuristic wound-healing technology are just four of the 16 projects selected for MedCity's 'Collaborate to Innovate' programme.
The £2m programme, led by King's College London and part-funded by ERDF and HEFCE, is connecting 16 life sciences SMEs with leading academics to address a specific challenge related to their product or service. They will be working with academics at Kings College London, Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London, and University College London to develop and commercialise their innovations.
Over 70 companies applied to the programme, and were matched with suitable academic partners to develop 6-12 month collaborative proposals worth up to £100,000. A panel of academics and industry representatives selected the winning projects, based on technological potential, R&D challenges, commercial potential, and impact.
Sarah Haywood, CEO of MedCity said:
"London and the South East has a strong life sciences ecosystem of innovative companies developing the next generation of therapeutic and healthcare products. We have everything from new drugs, development of healthcare services based on AI and VR technologies, new devices and smartphones used to help people manage their care.
Sometimes you just need a helping hand with the last piece of the puzzle, to get the idea from mind to market. I'm excited to be able to match 16 ground-breaking SMEs with academics from our leading universities to develop their innovations and make them commercially viable."
Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice Provost (Health) and member of the MedCity Management Board commented:
"UCL's academics are at the forefront of medical translation across a breath of therapeutic modalities including gene & cell therapy, drug discovery, devices and diagnostics. Harnessing the complimentary expertise to be found within large and small companies enables us to accelerate the translation of our biomedical research toward patient benefit and represents a clear strategic priority for UCL and our partner Biomedical Research Centres. We are delighted to partner with MedCity, and other HEIs in London to further this ambition and support the healthcare industry and SMEs in London and South East region."
The projects selected to work with UCL are:
Innersight Labs Ltd and UCL
Innersight are creating a surgery planning tool that uses medical scans, coupled with machine learning algorithms, to generate a patient-specific 3D anatomical model. This can be used to aid better therapeutic decision making and decide on the possible surgical plan for that patient. The team will work with Professor Sebastien Ourselin, Head of the Translational Imaging Group within the Centre for Medical Image Computing at UCL to further develop their image segmentation software and clinician-friendly user interface.
Probe Scientific Limited and UCL
Probe Scientific, a medical device company, is utilizing its existing microdialysis technology to provide therapeutic antibiotic drug monitoring at the bedside. They will work with UCL's Professor Mervyn Singer, Head of the Bloomsbury Institute of Intensive Care Medicine, and his group of leading experts in sepsis, infection, and novel monitoring, to develop the technology for future use in critically ill patients.
ReViral Ltd and UCL
ReViral has developed a novel antiviral programme targeting respiratory syncytial virus. They will work with Professor Chris O'Callaghan, Head of the Respiratory, Critical Care and Anaesthesia at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, to confirm antiviral activity in highly disease relevant human tissue models, aiding the development of formulations for clinical trials.
Tecrea Ltd and UCL
Tecrea is a company with well-established cell delivery technology. They will work with UCL's Dr Farlan Veraitch and his team within the Department of Biochemical Engineering, and together they will apply engineering expertise to scale production of Lentivirus-based therapies to meet the projected needs of the rapidly developing gene therapy market.
Trendalyze and UCL
Trendalyze has developed a time-series analysis platform which is ideal for concurrently analysing various heterogeneous datasets from different modalities. They will work with Dr Danail Stoyanov, Reader in Surgical Robot Vision at UCL, to deploy their product in a robotic surgery environment, leading to improvements in minimal access surgery.