Developing Translational Science capabilities to support the delivery of precision medicine at the University of Leicester

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Technical Summary

The Confidence in Concept scheme is a key part of MRC’s translational research strategy and provides annual awards to institutions, to be used flexibly to support the earliest stages of multiple translational research projects. The award can be used by the institution to support a number of preliminary-stage translational projects. The projects supported should aim to provide sufficient preliminary data to establish the viability of an approach –– before seeking more substantive funding.  It is intended to accelerate the transition from discovery research to translational development projects by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Development of Diagnostic Assays for Direct Measurement of Meningococcal Vaccine Antigen Expression in Clinical Samples
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Potential influence in meningitis vaccine chice depending on the local meningococcal strains and the coverage offered by Men B vaccine vaccines (GSK and Pfizer)
URL https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uol-rfn061818.php
 
Description Primary versus metastasis using Ion Torrent Next Generation Sequencing (PRIMINGS) - Clinical Translation
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Soon to be implemented in ISO accredited lab space as part of the service provision for local genomic laboratory hub (joint venture between UoL and UHL)
 
Description Breast Cancer Now preclinical catalyst award - Explants
Amount £670,000 (GBP)
Organisation Breast Cancer Now 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 05/2021
 
Description Cardiac rest and stress metabolism in patients with Type 2 Diabetes
Amount £136,122 (GBP)
Funding ID FS/18/26/33501 
Organisation British Heart Foundation (BHF) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 10/2020
 
Description Development of Diagnostic Assays for Direct Measurement of Meningococcal Vaccine Antigen Expression in Clinical Samples
Amount £790,000 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/S007490/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description Development of capture matrix and package for detection and diagnosis of respiratory disorders using mask
Amount £22,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Leicester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2018 
End 07/2019
 
Description Evaluation of a Mask Aerosol Sampling System (MASS) as an Active Case Finding Approach Focused on Infectious TB in Low-Resource Settings.
Amount £151,592 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/S002278/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 03/2020
 
Description Heart failure in type 2 diabetes: improving diagnosis and management in a multi-ethnic population.
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID RP-2017-08-ST2-007 
Organisation National Institute of Health Research and Development (NIHRD) 
Sector Public
Country Indonesia
Start  
 
Description Mask aerosol sampling system for the diagnosis of respiratory infections
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Henry Smith Charity 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Cardio Health MRI Scan 
Organisation Resonance Health
Country Australia 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The patient recruitment and MRI imaging has taken place at Leicester. Proof of concept was done by adapting Resonance Health's existing algorithm with cardiac gating and acquired images from healthy volunteers and cardiology patients.
Collaborator Contribution Resonance Health have developed the algorithm for cardio MRI imaging and will help with analysing the MRI scans.
Impact P2D funding was awarded to the PI to visit Resonance Health in Perth Australia, and for physicists from Resonance Health to come to Leicester to optimise the MRI sequence. Healthy volunteers and patients have been scanned and analysis of images is underway. Full patient and volunteer recruitment is complete and data analysis is under way. A publication in a high profile journal is expected within the next 3-4 months. Updated March 2019.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Development of Diagnostic Assays for Direct Measurement of Meningococcal Vaccine Antigen Expression in Clinical Samples 
Organisation Public Health England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution PCR based system for the identification of vaccine coverage across menigococcal strains
Collaborator Contribution PHE - Access to patient derived bacterial DNA from meningitis outbreaks Roche - testing complement-blocking antibodies in meningococcal samples
Impact The relationship enables the testing of vaccine coverage in menintitus outbreaks (real world evidence) enabling validation of the UoL approach and providing data for publications and for the development of data packages to share with pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer and GSK). Publications detailed elsewhere DOIs 10.1128/JCM.00204-18 and 10.1371/journal.pone.0197186 Updated March 2019
Start Year 2017
 
Description Development of Diagnostic Assays for Direct Measurement of Meningococcal Vaccine Antigen Expression in Clinical Samples 
Organisation Roche Pharmaceuticals
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution PCR based system for the identification of vaccine coverage across menigococcal strains
Collaborator Contribution PHE - Access to patient derived bacterial DNA from meningitis outbreaks Roche - testing complement-blocking antibodies in meningococcal samples
Impact The relationship enables the testing of vaccine coverage in menintitus outbreaks (real world evidence) enabling validation of the UoL approach and providing data for publications and for the development of data packages to share with pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer and GSK). Publications detailed elsewhere DOIs 10.1128/JCM.00204-18 and 10.1371/journal.pone.0197186 Updated March 2019
Start Year 2017
 
Description Explant 2017 
Organisation Cancer Research Technology (CRT)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The development of tumour explant models for breast, lung and colorectal cancers (including liver metastases) to assess patient responses to current standard of care treatments. Follow on data shows that the model has a strong predictive power in prediction patient responses to therapy and survival. Going forward the plan is to use this as a 'test' system for novel compounds as part of their pre-clinical assessment.
Collaborator Contribution MRC Toxicology (Leicester) and the University of Leicester have worked in collaboration to develop the model to it's current format (since 2007). The collaboration with CRT began in 2015 and encompasses access to individuals and facilities at CRT-DL (Cambridge) and work to trial a number of their novel compounds. CRT will continue the collaboration under the name of Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and the MRCT will continue the collaboration under the name of LifeArc.
Impact A number of publications have used this methodology (prior to MRC funding) from this source. This project has now produced several poster presentations with published abstracts, alongside further collaborations with other tech transfer companies. External funding at £60k from Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories (CRT) has been won, increasing the total amount of CRT funding to £238k since 2015. The University will collaborate with Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and LifeArc to test a range of novel anti-cancer drugs, attracting investment totalling >£500K. The collaborations are working well and a number of advances have been made in the development of the explant technique - expanding the culture time (up to 5 days), move to fluorescent IHC staining and scanning (significant options for multiplexing) supported by the purchase of new instrumentation (Vector Scanner) and the identification of the impact of treatment on immune cells distribution (supporting immune oncology projects) CR-UKDL Alliances are bringing commercial projects to the explant project (company names are confidential) and the explant procedure is being used routenly as a per-clincial model in drug discovery. Work on this project is also supporting work with GSK on the DPAc project to develop novel therapeutics for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Update 2019.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Explant 2017 
Organisation LifeArc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The development of tumour explant models for breast, lung and colorectal cancers (including liver metastases) to assess patient responses to current standard of care treatments. Follow on data shows that the model has a strong predictive power in prediction patient responses to therapy and survival. Going forward the plan is to use this as a 'test' system for novel compounds as part of their pre-clinical assessment.
Collaborator Contribution MRC Toxicology (Leicester) and the University of Leicester have worked in collaboration to develop the model to it's current format (since 2007). The collaboration with CRT began in 2015 and encompasses access to individuals and facilities at CRT-DL (Cambridge) and work to trial a number of their novel compounds. CRT will continue the collaboration under the name of Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and the MRCT will continue the collaboration under the name of LifeArc.
Impact A number of publications have used this methodology (prior to MRC funding) from this source. This project has now produced several poster presentations with published abstracts, alongside further collaborations with other tech transfer companies. External funding at £60k from Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories (CRT) has been won, increasing the total amount of CRT funding to £238k since 2015. The University will collaborate with Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and LifeArc to test a range of novel anti-cancer drugs, attracting investment totalling >£500K. The collaborations are working well and a number of advances have been made in the development of the explant technique - expanding the culture time (up to 5 days), move to fluorescent IHC staining and scanning (significant options for multiplexing) supported by the purchase of new instrumentation (Vector Scanner) and the identification of the impact of treatment on immune cells distribution (supporting immune oncology projects) CR-UKDL Alliances are bringing commercial projects to the explant project (company names are confidential) and the explant procedure is being used routenly as a per-clincial model in drug discovery. Work on this project is also supporting work with GSK on the DPAc project to develop novel therapeutics for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Update 2019.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Explant 2017 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Department MRC Toxicology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The development of tumour explant models for breast, lung and colorectal cancers (including liver metastases) to assess patient responses to current standard of care treatments. Follow on data shows that the model has a strong predictive power in prediction patient responses to therapy and survival. Going forward the plan is to use this as a 'test' system for novel compounds as part of their pre-clinical assessment.
Collaborator Contribution MRC Toxicology (Leicester) and the University of Leicester have worked in collaboration to develop the model to it's current format (since 2007). The collaboration with CRT began in 2015 and encompasses access to individuals and facilities at CRT-DL (Cambridge) and work to trial a number of their novel compounds. CRT will continue the collaboration under the name of Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and the MRCT will continue the collaboration under the name of LifeArc.
Impact A number of publications have used this methodology (prior to MRC funding) from this source. This project has now produced several poster presentations with published abstracts, alongside further collaborations with other tech transfer companies. External funding at £60k from Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories (CRT) has been won, increasing the total amount of CRT funding to £238k since 2015. The University will collaborate with Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and LifeArc to test a range of novel anti-cancer drugs, attracting investment totalling >£500K. The collaborations are working well and a number of advances have been made in the development of the explant technique - expanding the culture time (up to 5 days), move to fluorescent IHC staining and scanning (significant options for multiplexing) supported by the purchase of new instrumentation (Vector Scanner) and the identification of the impact of treatment on immune cells distribution (supporting immune oncology projects) CR-UKDL Alliances are bringing commercial projects to the explant project (company names are confidential) and the explant procedure is being used routenly as a per-clincial model in drug discovery. Work on this project is also supporting work with GSK on the DPAc project to develop novel therapeutics for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Update 2019.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Explant 2017 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The development of tumour explant models for breast, lung and colorectal cancers (including liver metastases) to assess patient responses to current standard of care treatments. Follow on data shows that the model has a strong predictive power in prediction patient responses to therapy and survival. Going forward the plan is to use this as a 'test' system for novel compounds as part of their pre-clinical assessment.
Collaborator Contribution MRC Toxicology (Leicester) and the University of Leicester have worked in collaboration to develop the model to it's current format (since 2007). The collaboration with CRT began in 2015 and encompasses access to individuals and facilities at CRT-DL (Cambridge) and work to trial a number of their novel compounds. CRT will continue the collaboration under the name of Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and the MRCT will continue the collaboration under the name of LifeArc.
Impact A number of publications have used this methodology (prior to MRC funding) from this source. This project has now produced several poster presentations with published abstracts, alongside further collaborations with other tech transfer companies. External funding at £60k from Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories (CRT) has been won, increasing the total amount of CRT funding to £238k since 2015. The University will collaborate with Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories and LifeArc to test a range of novel anti-cancer drugs, attracting investment totalling >£500K. The collaborations are working well and a number of advances have been made in the development of the explant technique - expanding the culture time (up to 5 days), move to fluorescent IHC staining and scanning (significant options for multiplexing) supported by the purchase of new instrumentation (Vector Scanner) and the identification of the impact of treatment on immune cells distribution (supporting immune oncology projects) CR-UKDL Alliances are bringing commercial projects to the explant project (company names are confidential) and the explant procedure is being used routenly as a per-clincial model in drug discovery. Work on this project is also supporting work with GSK on the DPAc project to develop novel therapeutics for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Update 2019.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Immunomodulation in the Lung by specific inhibition of the Sin3A/HDAC1 complex 
Organisation AstraZeneca
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Experts in the analysis of HDAC in the epigenetic regulation of disease (Molecular and structural biology approaches) Experts in smooth airway biology, asthma and COPD (cellular biology and haematological responses to therapeutics)
Collaborator Contribution LifeArc : Development of novel small molecule inhibitors (SM) for neglected disease of clear clinical need Relationship with Asthma UK and interest in new therapeutics for asthma AZ: strong interest and experience in developing novel therapeutics for respiratory disease
Impact The work for this projects has been in the target validation of the impact of SIN3A inhibition in airway biology in asthma to work with LifeArc/AZ to screen SM libraries and for the medicinal chemistry development of novel drugs for asthma To date the validation has been unable to confirm linkage of SIN3Ai with the modulation of disease. This work will now be supported by a joint iCase studentship with LifeArc starting April 2019). Updated March 2019
Start Year 2017
 
Description Novel kinase target in cancer therapy 
Organisation AstraZeneca
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The aim of this agreement is to develop and use assays for kinase activity to screen an optimised kinase-focused compound collection provided through the AZ Open Innovation Scheme. Depending on the hit matter generated, the plan is to scale-up the established primary and secondary in vitro assays to screen additional targeted AZ compound sets and generate lead compounds, as well as establish cell lines to validate the hit compounds and undertake additional screens.
Collaborator Contribution AZ provides access through their Open Innovation scheme to ~50,000 pre-selected compounds. A more restricted kinase inhibitor set (KIL-set) of ~1,000 compounds will be provided to screen for inhibitors of the kinases studied and understand potential mechanisms of action of these inhibitors in cancer cells. AZ will evaluate hits identified from these screens to determine whether they are appropriate for further investment through computational biology and/or medicinal chemistry, or for limited testing in cell line panels.
Impact We are currently developing kinase activity assays to screen the optimised kinase-focused compound collection provided by AZ. The project has used P2D funds (MC_PC_17194) to visit AZ to further screen AZ proprietary compounds using AZ in house high throughput systems. A data package showing the linkage of NEK kinase inhibitors to altered DNA damage responses is being compiled and will be presented to AZ Oncology team (within 3-4 months) to establish whether AZ will take this project on as a part of its oncology drug development portfolio. The targeting of NEK8 is being de-prioritised (lack off suitable molecules and structural biology insights) the tool compounds and data produced to date will be used to write a publication for a high impact journals (withing the next 6-8 months) Update March 2019
Start Year 2017
 
Description Oncogenic splicing factors as novel therapeutic strategies for cancer. 
Organisation European Lead Factory
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The compounds will be validated structurally using NMR chemical shift perturbation experiments to identify the binding site of the hit compounds, Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) to evaluate the stoichiometry, the affinity and the thermodynamic parameters of the interaction.
Collaborator Contribution ELF will screen a library of 450,000 compounds on the splicing factor binding ability and are further evaluated using an orthogonal assay and dose response curves (DRC). A qualified hit list of up to 50 compounds will be supplied for Leicester to further exploit. In parallel, the European screening centre will undertake medicinal chemistry to provide compounds with improved characteristics (Improved Hit List, IHL)
Impact ELF has provided up to 50 compounds which are now being validated at Leicester. The output from this will generate critical preliminary data for future grant applications and/or partnership with companies. ELF are no longer in operation (EU funding finished) and are therefore no longer in a position to support the project. A small number of compounds have been identified but none have significant affinity/specificity combined with desirable phsyico-chemical properties to warrant follow on funding or interest from companies. The project will return to a basic research exercise and may be revisited if suitable novel chemical matter is identified. Updated March 2019.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Probiotics 
Organisation Protexin
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Assess the ability of a targeted probiotic supplementation to reduce basal/induced levels of a circulating compound that is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Collaborator Contribution Protexin will support biostatical analyses of their data to identify the candidate strains that lack the genes. Furthermore, Protexin will be producing (at cost to themselves) a multi-strain mixture in an oral capsule form that is produced to GMP quality and suitable for use as dietary supplements for human investigations
Impact The recruitment of volunteers is complete and mass spec data analysed - data inconclusive due to differential patient responses to Choline supplementation Inter individual differences presents an opportunity for patient stratification in future studies Plans to establish a larger trial with Protexin are in discussion. Updated March 2019
Start Year 2017
 
Description Towards commercialising LifeMap as a novel clinical tool for assessing risk of sudden cardiac death 
Organisation Renfrew Group International
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Experience in developing novel non-invasive methodologies for the detection of abnormal heart ECG patterns Experience in development of machine learning approaches for automated detecting of abnormal ECGs Assess to patients and data from clincal trails
Collaborator Contribution Mortara - Provision of ECG hardware and software development Renfrew - delivery of ergonomically designed integrated system for the clinical use of LifeMap
Impact Discussions and project planning that has been submitted for an MRC DPFS award with Mortara. The funding has been provisionally awarded for ~£1 M - amendments to project plans are currently under review. An MRC BMC application has been submitted with Renfrew. Updated March 2019
Start Year 2018
 
Title ECG EVALUATION 
Description A method for assessing the electrical function of a heart, a method for determining a subject's need for the implantation of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator or the need for administration of an anti-arrhythmic agent, and apparatus for assessing the function of the heart and a computer program product. The methods and products involve analysis of ECG. 
IP Reference WO2015150831 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact As described in the Collaborations and Partnerships section
 
Title METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR EVALUATING CARDIAC FUNCTION 
Description The present invention relates to a method for assessing the electrical function of a heart, comprising the steps of:- (1) for each of a plurality of leads of an ECG, determining a value derived from the output of that lead and which corresponds to an action potential duration; (2) for each of the plurality of leads of the ECG, determining a value derived from the output of that lead and which corresponds to a diastolic interval; (3) for each of the plurality of leads of the ECG, determining a relationship between the determined values for action potential duration and for diastolic interval; (3) assessing the differences between the determined relationships for each of the plurality of leads. The invention further relates to apparatus and a computer program that may be used in the method. 
IP Reference WO2011117608 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed No
Impact As described in the Collaboration and Partnerships section of this form
 
Description Exhibition at ELRIG Drug Discovery 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Leicester Drug Discovery team exhibited at the ELRIG DD 2017 conference in Liverpool and engaged with leaders and companies in the pharma industry to find new collaborations for ongoing projects. A new collaboration was established with UCB, which will introduce CRO-type work on haematology models. Requests were made to establish a collaboration on IgA nephropathy to test mAb products.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Girlguiding 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Multiple events within Girlguiding Leicestershire - 1) age appropriate hands on activities performed with girls from 4-17 to make science fun and engaging - with the purpose of promoting Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities to young women (small groups - individual meetings and also to division/county events including camps and activity days) 2) training sessions for leaders in Girlguiding to enable/encourage them to undertake STEM activities within thier units 3) to promote Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) 4) provide positive female role models
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017,2018
 
Description Interreg grant - Engagement with SME companies in the region 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact As part of the Interreg grant that was awarded to the University of Leicester, engagement with SME companies in the region is ongoing to improve and grow their chances to develop diagnostic tests and healthcare products. Facilitated the contact between SMEs and key opinion leaders within healthcare and politics to get the right clinical input, such as facilitate access to the relevant clinical samples or clinical trials to develop their products further.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
 
Description Patient Group Talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Talks about advances in drug discovery research at the University (special emphasis on lung/thoracic and haematological diseases). Typically 'after dinner style' talks with Q&A sessions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017,2018
 
Description Poster presentation at BARC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Dr Gareth Miles presented a poster at the British Association for Cancer Research titled ": Using an ex vivo platform of tumour explants to predict clinical response to novel anticancer drugs ".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Poster presentation at ELRIG Drug Discovery 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Dr Gareth Miles presented a poster titled "Using an ex vivo platform of tumour explants to predict clinical response to novel anticancer drugs" at the ELRIG Drug Discovery Conference in Liverpool.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop NC3R 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Dr Gareth Miles attended the NC3R workshop and presented a poster there, entitled "Using an ex vivo platform of tumour explants to predict clinical response to novel anticancer drugs"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017