Future Worlds Medicine: an Innovative Approach to Industrial Collaboration

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton

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 MRC Proximity to Discovery scheme awards universities funds to help develop new collaborations, and ways of exchanging knowledge and skills.  The awards can be used to support activities that promote the value of academic-industry partnership, and enhance academic and industry researchers’ understanding of each other’s needs and capabilities.  This may be through people exchanges, creation of technology demonstrators, showcase events, commercialisation workshops and ‘entrepreneurs in residence’ schemes.  Such exchanges of knowledge and skills will boost the most fruitful collaborations between UK universities and life science companies.

Publications

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Description Coltart / Healy Medimmune collaboration 
Organisation MedImmune
Department MedImmune Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution FwM supported George Coltart (ECR) and Prof. Eugene Healy to prepare preliminary date for and attend at a collaboration meeting with MedImmune, an industrial partner, in order to progress a collaboration on immunotherapy fro skin cancer towards a clinical trial.
Collaborator Contribution Hosting of UoS team at Medimmune, exploration clinical trial feasibility. Award to UoS to support pilot data generation .
Impact CDA completed.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Recruitment of mentors for Futures World medicine (FWm) 
Organisation Future Worlds
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Worlds medicine drawn upon the University's existing networks of industry contacts in the health and pharma sector, engaging with the extended alumni network, and proactively seeking introductions to extend the existing networks, the medicine team has identified key stakeholders who are keen to engage with academia to progress translational research towards commercialisation. We have now recruited seven mentors to Future Worlds medicine who have begun to provide one to one mentorship to University researchers as well as providing masterclass session to wider audiences interested in commercial translation of research in the health and life sciences.
Collaborator Contribution Simon Kerry - Advent Life Sciences LLP, Operating Partner. • Simon Kerry is a business expert with expansive experience of creating and developing innovative life science businesses.  He enjoyed success as the CEO of University of Southampton spinout Karus Therapeutics, where he took the company from a startup phase and progressed it through to a clinical stage cancer company.  Simon now works as Operating Partner for UK-based investment company Advent Life Sciences, running and managing early stage companies, helping them to achieve success. • Simon has agreed to assist in the Discovery video script review process for our Medical spinouts and startups and will provide feedback to strengthen the quality of their pitches to camera. • Mentor profile live. https://futureworlds.com/mentors-simon-kerry/ Simon MacKenzie - S-M Consult Ltd, Director. • Simon MacKenzie works to provide support services to young scientific companies and organisations. With over 15 years' experience of senior business and scientific roles in drug discovery, innovation, business development and collaborative alliance management, he now offers advice to enable companies to find new partners and clients, whilst also supporting drug discovery and project development. • Simon has agreed to assist in the Discovery video script review process for our Medical spinouts and startups and will provide feedback to strengthen the quality of their pitches to camera. • Mentor profile live: https://futureworlds.com/mentors-simon-mackenzie/ Jim Wicks - PrimerDesign Ltd, Strategic Director • University of Southampton graduate Jim Wicks co-founded PrimerDesign in 2004 from within the University's Faculty of Medicine. The innovative company, which started on a shoe string budget, delivered highly profitable accounts from year one, resulting in a multimillion pound turnover and a world-renowned reputation in their field. PrimerDesign is focused on developing improved solutions for detecting disease in people, animals and food by specialising in the design, manufacture, validation and supply of real-time PCR kits and reagents. In 2009 the company developed the world's first H1N1 swine flu detection kit and in 2013 developed the first H7N9 bird flu detection kit for use in humans in response to the 2013 Chinese outbreak. • Mentor profile live: https://futureworlds.com/mentors-jim-wicks/ Annie Jullien Pannelay - The Economist Intelligence Unit. • Annie works as a consultant for The Economist Intelligence Unit's global healthcare practice, overseeing a team of specialists delivering research and consulting to pharma and medtech companies, governments, NGOs, and foundations. Annie is skilled in value-based healthcare, policy analysis and forecasting in a large selection of therapy areas. Her past experience spans from working in the pharma industry through to healthcare banking. • Looking to bring her in for a Mentor Masterclass soon (perhaps June). Her breadth of experience across multiple industry sectors would appeal to a wide range of students and would be easy to cross-faculty market, with a focus on Medicine, Health Sciences and Business. • Mentor profile is live: https://futureworlds.com/mentors-annie-jullien-pannelay/ David Tordrup - Triangulate Health Ltd, Director. • David Tordrup is Director of Triangulate Health Ltd, which provides insights and analysis in the interface between life science, economics and policy. David was previously Associate Director of HCD Economics, a UK-based technical health economics consultancy, where he managed and developed the portfolio of multilateral and 3rd sector work. David was previously a Research Fellow in Health Economics at the World Health Organization Representation (WHO) to the EU in Brussels, where he managed and implemented the Research Agenda for Health Economic Evaluation project in collaboration with the European Commission, OECD Health and leading European academics. Prior to joining WHO, David was a Research Officer at the London School of Economics, where he worked on Health Technology Assessment of high-cost technologies and on the financial sustainability of health systems. He initially trained in life sciences (BSc, MSc molecular biology) and subsequently in health economics (MSc) at the LSE and LSHTM. David's research interests are focused around access to medicines from a variety of perspectives, including in low-middle income countries, and for patients with rare or neglected diseases. • We have invited David to provide a workshop at the Hospital, which will surround the theme of understanding the main purchaser of medicines and technologies in the UK and how early stage companies can start thinking about their value messages early in the R&D process to improve chances of eventual commercial success. (date tbc) • Filming mentor video on 8th February 2018 Nick Camp - Nick Camp Consulting, Consultant. • Nick Camp is a medicinal chemist with over 20 years drug discovery experience gained within major pharma and biotech. As a group leader at Eli Lilly he drove the diversification of the UK chemistry group resulting in a significant increase in portfolio deliverables for the department, including multiple clinical candidates. During his time in biotech, Nick was involved in a successful collaboration that delivered the Factor Xa clinical compound LY517717 involving one of the earliest fragment-based design approaches. He has extensive project leadership experience having worked across all phases of pre-clinical drug discovery and is recognised for developing future leaders. Nick helped to enhance links between Academia and Pharma through his role as Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Southampton. He has a good track record of publications including, 14 scientific publications and 11 patents. His expertise includes Small Molecule Drug Discovery, Medicinal Chemistry Strategies, Project Leadership, Enzyme inhibitors, SBDD, FBDD, Issue-driven and Multi-dimensional SARs, Neuroscience, Diabetes, Lead Optimisation, Hit to Lead, Early Portfolio, Target Validation, Staff Development and Mentorship. • Filming mentor video on 27th March 2018 • We will be inviting him to present a Mentor Masterclass in April (tbc), with a view to hold a workshop (for the pitch for partnership event) later that day at the hospital. Cath Whitaker - Team Services, Director. • Cath founded Team Services in 1998 in response to the need for commercial support in the technology transfer sector. Cath's main focus is market research and business planning, and she also provides sales and marketing consultancy to a number of public sector clients and SMEs. Cath runs most of the training courses, which provide commercial skill sets for academics and scientists. Before starting the company, Cath worked for 12 years in industry, initially in pharmaceutical research and then in commercial roles for laboratory product companies. During her time in industry, Cath worked in sales, in marketing, as an export manager (Europe and Far East) and in product development. Cath has a Chemistry and Pharmacology degree from Sheffield and an MBA from Warwick. • Filming mentor video on 17th April. 2018
Impact Interaction between FW Medicine Mentors and startups/spinouts Simon Mackenzie - Connected with Jay Laver at the Genesis conference in London where he gave him some useful business advice relating to his value proposition. Simon has also put Researchably in touch with a potential client. Jim Wicks - Has met with Mauro from Researchably and has connected the them with a potential competitor. He has also given him contact details of someone who works at PrimerDesign who could be interested in buying the product. Jay Laver has also met with Jim Wicks following the Masterclass event. Annie Jullien Pannelay - has met with Mauro from Researchably and provided him with three contacts, a target use case, a startup mentor in their field and a one that has successfully sold a similar product.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Future Worlds medicine web platform 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Future Worlds medicine initiative seeks to engage researchers in commercial translation of their work. The foundation of the scheme is the community of academics, mentors, partners and investors who share the same vision of pushing the boundaries of translational research from the lab to the market. There is no secret in growing a network, the community needs to talk about it and people have to find out about Future Worlds medicine through a range of channels such as events, website and social media. The Future Worlds medicine website is the key platform that showcases the activities such as pitch to industry as well as workshops, entrepreneur talks, mentor masterclasses and blogs targeted to the medical sector. All these activities attract more traffic to the website and bring new people to the community, which is building momentum. The web platform has resulted in increased engagement of researchers with Future Worlds, increasing awareness of translation amongst students and staff, attracted potential investors to engage with academics seeking investment and showcased the expertise of the mentor network to researchers seeking help and advice in translating their research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://futureworlds.com/tag/medicine/
 
Description Future Worlds medicine: Launch event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Five medical entrepreneurs (Renovos, SouthWestSensor, Highfield Diagnostics, Smart Fabric Inks and Trimunocor) pitched Southampton research and technologies to a packed audience of industry experts, entrepreneurs and investors at The Future Cities Catapult's Urban Innovation Centre on Tuesday 10th October. This gave a great opportunity to showcase our medical spinouts to the medical industry and make some valuable connections for the Future Worlds medicine initiative. A direct result of the event was recruitment of two new mentors, Annie Jullien Pannelay and David Tordrup, who attended the event and approached FWm about their enthusiasm to support this initiative.

Quotes from speakers relating to Future Worlds Medicine:

Lars Erwig, a Senior Director at GSK, commended the "sense of energy, innovation and drive," commenting that "it feels more like Boston". The speakers were followed by pitches from five of Future Worlds Medicine's startups and University spinouts.  Each were given 90 seconds to showcase their medical discoveries, then followed by a short Q&A from the audience.

Elaine Evans from Innovate UK highlighted the value of startups receiving mentor support. "Having a mentor makes a substantial difference to the outcome of a project," she explained. "It sharpens commercial thinking and helps drive a cultural change to get projects out of the academic environment and into the hard reality of the commercial world."

Louise Jones from the MRC mentioned that the University had been "very successful" in using this funding to support that initial engagement with industry.
Future Worlds Medicine mentor and life sciences expert Simon Kerry spoke at the event about his passion for supporting University innovators. "Future Worlds Medicine gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with people who have direct experience of building companies in this sector, giving help and support that would otherwise be difficult and expensive to obtain," he said.
He also addressed the challenges within the life sciences sector. "There are few people with the skills required to succeed as an entrepreneur, even fewer that succeed as an entrepreneur and even fewer again that succeed at their first attempt," he explained.  Simon's goal as a mentor is "to help entrepreneurs defeat those odds and build successful businesses".  Expressing his enthusiasm for the initiative, he said, "I am delighted to be a Future Worlds mentor and am looking forward to helping life sciences researchers identify commercial opportunities and openings for investment in order to move their ideas to market."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://futureworlds.com/blog-future-worlds-medicine-launch/
 
Description Market testing for TopoMD software platform 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact FutureWorlds Medicine provided support for Dr James Schofield and Prfoessor Paul Skipp to attend and present "TopoMD" - a software platform developed for stratified and personalised medicine, cohort selection and companion diagnostics at The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) at the Santa Clara Convention Center (Silicon Valley) 20-23/01/2019. https://www.topomd.com/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.topomd.com/
 
Description Mentor Masterclasses hosted by Future Worlds Medicine • Howard Clark - Entrepreneur talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Howard Clarke, An academic who has successfully spun out a company in the life sciences sector gave a presentation followed by a Q&A to an audience of UG and PGR students, early career researchers and academics describing his entrepreneurial journey.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://futureworlds.com/blog-bench-bedside/
 
Description Mentor Masterclasses hosted by Future Worlds Medicine: Ali Tavassoli - Entrepreneur talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Ali Tavassoli has first-hand experience of how research can be transformed into spinouts, as a project he contributed to at an early stage went on to be commercialised and sold for over $5bn. Now a Professor in Chemical Biology, he encourages others to explore engagement with industry at Southampton's Department of Chemistry. Ali gave a presentation followed by a Q&A to an audience of UG and PGR students, early career researchers and academics describing his entrepreneurial journey.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://futureworlds.com/blog-clinic-and-back-again/
 
Description Mentor Masterclasses hosted by Future Worlds Medicine: Jim Wicks Mentor Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Future Worlds mentor Jim Wicks co-founded biotech company Primerdesign and was a pivotal figure in the development of the world's first swine flu and bird flu detection kits.

In last week's Mentor Masterclass talk, 'How to start a company at University, with no money and no experience', he shared the story of how he took his DNA detection business from a shoestring budget through to a multimillion pound turnover.

The audience was a mix of UG and PGR students, early career researchers and academics interested in translation of research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://futureworlds.com/blog-dna-successful-business/
 
Description Mentor Masterclasses hosted by Future Worlds Medicine: Simon Kerry Mentor Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Business expert Simon Kerry has built a number of early stage life science companies, including the successful University of Southampton spinout Karus Therapeutics. In his Mentor Masterclass last week Simon shared his valuable experience of building a biotech company, addressing the challenges faced and how these were tackled. The audience was a mix of UG and PGR students, early career researchers and academics interested in translation of research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://futureworlds.com/blog-mentor-masterclass-build-biotech-company-simon-kerry/
 
Description Mentor Masterclasses hosted by Future Worlds Medicine: Simon MacKenzie Mentor Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Future Worlds mentor Simon MacKenzie has built on a background in drug discovery and biotech to launch multiple startups, now with a wider scope towards providing his business development, strategic management and sales expertise to ambitious entrepreneurs. The audience was a mix of UG and PGR students, early career researchers and academics interested in translation of research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://futureworlds.com/blog-tips-understanding-customer/