King’s College London Confidence in Concept 2017

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London


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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.


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Description Cannabidiol for behaviour symptoms in Alzheimer's disease
Amount £9,400 (GBP)
Organisation King's College London 
Department Psychiatry Research Trust
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 12/2020
Description Cannabidiol for psychosis in Alzheimer's dementia
Amount £14,850 (GBP)
Funding ID M893 
Organisation Rosetrees Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2019 
End 05/2021
Description Chemistry and medicinal chemistry of tris(hydroxypyridinone) (THP) and derivatives thereof
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Theragnostics Limited 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 05/2019
Description Continuous arterial oxygen monitoring to personalise ventilatory strategies
Amount £33,412 (GBP)
Organisation Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2020 
End 08/2020
Description Fine-tuning islet NAD levels to prevent beta-cell de-differentiation in Type 2 diabetes
Amount £269,638 (GBP)
Funding ID 18/0005865 
Organisation Diabetes UK 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 01/2022
Amount £169,445 (GBP)
Funding ID IN-UK-983-6053 
Organisation Gilead Sciences, Inc. 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 03/2021 
End 02/2022
Description Multiple Long Term Conditions Challenge Fund
Amount £1,046,000 (GBP)
Organisation Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 01/2022
Description NIHR i4i
Amount £482,933 (GBP)
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 08/2023
Description Novel radiopharmaceuticals for selective and efficient tumour cell killing.
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 09/2022
Description Intermittent cold exposure delivered via a cooling garment 
Organisation Paxman Coolers Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We designed a research project to study the impact of intermittent cold exposure delivered via a cooling garment on brown adipose tissue function and metabolic phenotypes in children and young people.
Collaborator Contribution The partner designed a cooling jacket that will use cooling technology designed by the company Paxman Coolers Ltd
Impact The cooling jacket has been designed and will be used for research from April 2012.
Start Year 2019
Description Ose Immunotherapeutics 
Organisation OSE Immunotherapeutics SA
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution NA
Collaborator Contribution Access to IL-7Ra blocking antibody (OSE-127
Impact NA
Start Year 2018
Description Oxford Optronix 
Organisation Oxford Optronix Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Use of Oxylite data acquisition system
Collaborator Contribution Partnership on follow on grants
Impact Partnership on follow on grants
Start Year 2018
Description Siemens Healthineers collaboration to develop novel imaging strategies for hepatic steatosis and adipose tissue phenotypes in children and young people. 
Organisation Siemens Healthcare
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We generated pilot data to support the study proposal that cold exposure will induce brown adipose tissue, and this will result in improved metabolic parameters in obese children and young people with hepatic steatosi.
Collaborator Contribution Design of MRI protocols to phenotype liver and adipose tissue phenotypes.
Impact No impacts yet. Research to start March/April 2021.
Start Year 2020
Description Tuberculosis Biomarker 
Organisation London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Department TB Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This funding has allowed to set up extracellular vesicle isolation from small plasma samples (down to 250 microliter) at KCL. This project is still undergoing and we hope to generate meaningful data for TB pathophysiology in 2020. It has also allowed me to set up a new method at KCL that has undertaken a great deal of technical and admin work (ethics, biological safety, etc). At the moment we are hoping to establish the 'confidence in concept' early in 2020. Bringing samples from Africa has proven very challenging and we have set up all the technical work using healthy samples employing our 5th Floor Tower Wing ethics and has enabled a new collaboration with the University of Southampton as well as St Thomas' (Prof Paul Elkington and Dr Marc Tebruegge). This project has led me to collaborate and co-supervise a PhD student with Dr Bahijja Raimi-Abraham (KCL) across campus as we share interests in TB research. In addition, we plan on applying for future grants/projects together.
Collaborator Contribution They have collected 50 clinical samples as well as clinical data form patients with TB. We will leverage on the infrastucture that TREATS has set up in subsaharian Africa. These are 150 serum samples - 100 in kind contribution from TREATS. TREATS was funded by a 12.5M EUR grant; the samples that they will provide to this project is a small subset from their well-characterised cohort, thus, the in-kind contribution is only a figure but I cannot really estimate.
Impact Grant 'Identifying a novel tuberculosis diagnostic biomarker using human blood extracellular vesicles' from the MRC Confidence in Concept Scheme. The multidisciplinary nature of the award combines clinical (sample/data collection), molecular (extracellular vesicle extraction and characterisation) and bioinformatics (processing and integration of the sequencing data with clinical outcomes)
Start Year 2018
Title Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) Treg constructs 
Description Insertion of STAT5 signalling motifs into the CAR constructs delivers pro-survival signals that enhance the viability and suppressive function of Tregs recognizing an antigen through the CAR. 
IP Reference PCT/GB2019/052422 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted
Licensed Yes
Impact Spin Out and follow on funding: Quell Therapeutics ( with a £34M investment from Syncona Ltd
Description A spin-out biotechnology company focused on developing engineered T regulatory (Treg) cell therapies. 
Year Established 2019 
Impact Quell has secured £34M Series A financing from Syncona.
Description Company focussed on neurodegenerative disorders aiming to be the first to deliver AAV-GRN therapeutics to ALS and FTD patients. 
Year Established 2019 
Impact Have raised £3m from charitable sources and made great progress in generating unencumbered intellectual property.
Description Focus groups with children and young people to establish their views on cold exposure to improve cardiometabolic health 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Focus groups with children and young people to establish their views on the use of a cooling garment to deliver intermittent cold exposure with the aim of inducing brown adipose tissue to improve cardiometabolic health. This activity is for children/young people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (aged 8 and older) and health controls of the same age. We are keen to modify the study protocols according to the views of these groups. The views of the parents of children aged 8+ will also be obtained.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
Description Policy Lab 
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 This multidisciplinary 1-day Policy Lab was organised in collaboration with the King's Policy Institute to discuss the idea that cold exposure could be used as an early life intervention to improve cardiometabolic health. The meeting included approximately 40 stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds, including clinicians, scientists, policy makers, school and community groups, charity representatives, the Science Gallery London and research strategy teams. It was agreed that either a targeted experimental medicine approach or a more subtle reduction in ambient temperature could result in induction of brown adipose tissue (or beiging of white adipose tissue) that would in turn improve cardiometabolic health by reducing serum and hepatic lipids and improving susceptibility to diabetes mellitus. A major output was to design a template for a multidisciplinary, collaborative programme of work to address the quesiton of whether intermittent cold exposure is an effective early life intervention to improve metabolic health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018