London consortium secures £5 million to drive world-class university commercialisation

24 Apr 2018, 12:15 p.m.

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The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) GOSH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is part of a new £5 million consortium led by Kings College London which will strengthen London’s status as a world centre of commercialisation in medical technologies.The funds, which have been provided by Research England, will see the consortium of King’s, University College London, and Imperial College to bring together their collective expertise in cell and gene therapy to accelerate the progression to patient benefits.

Called Connecting Capabilities in Advanced Therapies, the consortium will create a strategic collaboration between London’s academic institutions, the NHS and industry in order to:

Create a network to drive academic to academic, and academic to industry collaborations

Provide a single, highly visible ‘front door’ for industry, and promote London’s strengths as a single entity

Create new training opportunities in this rapidly growing sector

Principal investigator at UCL and director of the NIHR GOSH BRC Professor Thomas Voit said of the award, “This consortium will bring together world-class experts and cutting edge infrastructure in advanced therapies from across London, including the NIHR GOSH BRC’s own capability in cell and gene therapy for complex childhood conditions. We look forward to working with colleagues at Kings and Imperial as part of this exciting new collaboration to drive forward translation into new diagnostics and treatments for patients”.

Professor Simon Howell, Director of Academic Estates Strategy at King’s said: ‘Advanced Therapies are a field that London has exceptional expertise in, however this expertise is distributed across a wide range of academic leaders and multiple institutions.

“While substantial collaborations exist between the partners and with industry, there is a considerable untapped opportunity to deliver synergies and a ‘complete package’.

‘London Advanced therapies provides a vehicle to ensure that the potential of our expertise and capabilities can be unlocked. This award provides a vehicle for the wider London Advanced Therapies Community to engage with this ambition and maximise its achievements.’

Research England has invested £67 million in 14 collaborative projects between universities and other parties to drive forward world-class university commercialisation across the country.

David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England said: ‘These projects demonstrate the commitment of universities to work together to strengthen the R&D and technology capabilities of the UK, building upon our successful Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).

‘In the Industrial Strategy, the Government asked us to improve our ability to turn exciting ideas into commercial products and services. Universities have stepped forward in these projects to that they can do world-class commercialisation, alongside world-class science.’

Other key partners and investors: Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult; MedCity; National Institute for Biological Standards and Control; NIHR CRN Industry partners; HE spinouts (e.g. Autolus, Orchard Therapeutics; GammaDelta Therapeutics; Leucid Bio).

Read more: Research England press release , Kings news story

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