Driving innovation in precision medicine through translational life sciences research 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
 
Title Application of Artificial Intelligence in Paediatric Ophthalmology - a pilot study 
Description A database of paediatric optical coherence tomography (OTC) scans which images of children renitnas. The database contains scans from normal controls and children with retinal abnormalities.The project is supporting full annotation of the scans. Genetic status and clinical outcome data is also available for all patients 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The database under development will facilitate a multi-end point searchable database to be used as a learning and test data sets for the developed algorithm. Outputs will to provide earlier detection of retinal abnormality's and the earlier diagnosis of genetic disease leading to differential treatment outcomes and better prognosis for a range of eye and other physiological abnormalities with genetic components. 
 
Title Using AI to Automatically Detect and Quantify Myocardial Scar 
Description Fully annotated series of heart MRI images with varying states of cardiac fat deposition in patients with and without type 2 diabetes 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact No impacts to date the project is at an early stage but is sufficient to provide both learning and test datasets for the development of a new algorithm for detecting patients 'at high risk' of heart failure. 
 
Description Brain TV confidence in concept: severe brain injury 
Organisation Nihon Kohden (Japan)
Country Japan 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Applying for MRHA approval to test device Database of pathological brain tissue motion recordings Expertise in machine learning to develop an software algorithm for quantifying the severity of waveform disruption
Collaborator Contribution Assess to hardware for trancrainial waveform detection (Headsets and capture devices)
Impact Contract for collaborative research under discussion Linked to P2D funded exchange programme funded under MRC_PC_17194 which is supporting a visit for face-to-face meetings with Nihon Kodon.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Development and evaluation of predictive breath volatile signatures of early treatment response/failure in a subset (T2HIGH) of severe asthmatics 
Organisation AstraZeneca
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Expertise in breathomics - volatile organic compound detection in breath (The East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node - EMBER) Access to patients via clinical trials, sample processing and clinical data to assess the efficacy of novel compounds on disease control
Collaborator Contribution Access to novel therapeutic agents Funds to support clinical trials and to pay for access to clinical research data sets
Impact Activity and access to samples is part of ongoing discussion with the EMBER commercail consortia and the University Hospitals of Leicester
Start Year 2017
 
Description Development and evaluation of predictive breath volatile signatures of early treatment response/failure in a subset (T2HIGH) of severe asthmatics 
Organisation GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Expertise in breathomics - volatile organic compound detection in breath (The East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node - EMBER) Access to patients via clinical trials, sample processing and clinical data to assess the efficacy of novel compounds on disease control
Collaborator Contribution Access to novel therapeutic agents Funds to support clinical trials and to pay for access to clinical research data sets
Impact Activity and access to samples is part of ongoing discussion with the EMBER commercail consortia and the University Hospitals of Leicester
Start Year 2017
 
Description Development and evaluation of predictive breath volatile signatures of early treatment response/failure in a subset (T2HIGH) of severe asthmatics 
Organisation Novartis
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Expertise in breathomics - volatile organic compound detection in breath (The East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node - EMBER) Access to patients via clinical trials, sample processing and clinical data to assess the efficacy of novel compounds on disease control
Collaborator Contribution Access to novel therapeutic agents Funds to support clinical trials and to pay for access to clinical research data sets
Impact Activity and access to samples is part of ongoing discussion with the EMBER commercail consortia and the University Hospitals of Leicester
Start Year 2017
 
Description Development of Ang2-selective ligand-trap 
Organisation Inotrem SA
PI Contribution Developed and validated high affinity ligand trap system for human Ang2 Molecular 'know how' to test the affinity for mouse model being developed by Inotrem Set up for the production of tagged and untagged trap protein for validation by Inotrem Experience in developing bio analytical for assessing trap affinity & selectivity against mouse and human Ang2
Collaborator Contribution Inotrem: Developed mouse model of sepsis, anti-sepsis small molecule LifeArc: patent and commercailisation rights to Ang2 ligand trap system (joint owned with UoL)
Impact Biophysical screening for selectivity and affinity complete - Ang2 trap functional against mouse protein - can move towards mouse models Contracts and work plans under negotiation - sign off within the month (end March 2019)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Development of Ang2-selective ligand-trap 
Organisation LifeArc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Developed and validated high affinity ligand trap system for human Ang2 Molecular 'know how' to test the affinity for mouse model being developed by Inotrem Set up for the production of tagged and untagged trap protein for validation by Inotrem Experience in developing bio analytical for assessing trap affinity & selectivity against mouse and human Ang2
Collaborator Contribution Inotrem: Developed mouse model of sepsis, anti-sepsis small molecule LifeArc: patent and commercailisation rights to Ang2 ligand trap system (joint owned with UoL)
Impact Biophysical screening for selectivity and affinity complete - Ang2 trap functional against mouse protein - can move towards mouse models Contracts and work plans under negotiation - sign off within the month (end March 2019)
Start Year 2018
 
Description Novel expectorant sample processing accelerating development of face mask sampling and biomarker analysis 
Organisation QuantuMDx Group Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution UoL's Mask Aeorosol Sampling system (MASS) has demonstrated potential to detect TB in patients who do not cough. Set up (inc Cat III laboratory and patient sample access) to investigate the compatibility of solublised mask material with QuantuMDx CAPTURE-XT and Q-POC technology for bacterial concentration, lysis and DNA extraction with molecular detection of target pathogens, including TB bacteria.
Collaborator Contribution QuantuMDx will contribute staff time and provide access to experimental CAPTURE-XT research rigs and Q-POC devices with full training Expertise in the development (spin out) of clinically relevant diagnostics for microbiological infections
Impact The project is in start up phase - contracts etc with the placement due to begin April 2019. Anticipated outputs from the project include: * Findings will support a Wellcome Trust Innovator Award application, to involve QuantuMDx for development of a front-end module to integrate MASS samples with Q-POC * development of a novel end-to-end process for the non-invasive diagnostics for TB *publication of high impact papers Opportunity for commercial engagement for MRC CiC funding from MC-PC_16051
Start Year 2018
 
Description University of Leicester and AstraZeneca Open Innovation platform 
Organisation AstraZeneca
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have provided collaboration framework and covered reagents, travel and accommodation expenses for a PI from University of Leicester to develop the right assays to screen approximately 50,000 pre-selected compounds targeted towards Kinase inhibition for screening to identify Nek8 inhibitors and understand potential mechanisms of action of Nek8 inhibitors in cancer cells. Expertise in novel target identification.
Collaborator Contribution AZ will contribute in the screening of approximately 50,000 pre-selected compounds. Access to company's NEK family kinase inhibitors for screening.
Impact We have secured a Research Collaboration and Option Agreement with AstraZeneca to cover NEK1 and NEK8. Clear workflows and plans are in place. A follow up P2D exchange program has taken place (late 2018) with funding from MC_PC_17194 to further screen compounds at AZ (Alderly Park campus) and to develop a POC package for target engagement (with AZ compounds and NEK1) which is being completed with MRC CiC support (MC_PC-15045) to be presented to AZ Oncology Group (Summer 2019) for funding/co-development options. A paper is in preparation around the NEK8 work.(Update March 2019)
Start Year 2017
 
Description University of Leicester and Blackrock Microsystems on a new generation of portable and digital acquisition systems for 24/7 human electrophysiology. 
Organisation Blackrock Microsystems LLC
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This is a secondment project. We have provided collaboration framework and covered travel and accommodation expenses for PI and postdoc (Centre for Systems Neurosciences) to travel and stay at Blackrock Microsystems subsidiary in Germany to develop relationships and generate a new generation of portable and digital acquisition systems for 24/7 human electrophysiology. MRC CiC follow up funding has been put in palce to further the development of the prototype receiver for 24/7 single neuron recordings. UoL contributes significant know-how and expertise in the development of novel transceivers, detectors and acquisition systems Access to patients (Kings College, London, Nancy, Barcelona and Buenos Aires) for live recordings (databases)
Collaborator Contribution BM will provide access to resources and software.
Impact Placement completed with significant assistance from Blackrock. Further discussions are in place with the company to use/adapt their recording systems to facilitate 24 hr recordings. Follow on work is currently funded by MRC CiC MC-PC_17171 to produce new algorithms to adapt data from Blackrock systems for 24 hr recording in hospitals in Buenos Aires and King's College Hospital (London). Update March 2019
Start Year 2017
 
Title ANGIOPOIETIN-2 SPECIFIC TIE2 RECEPTOR 
Description In one aspect, provided herein is a polypeptide comprising a modified angiopoietin receptor or fragment thereof, wherein the polypeptide binds preferentially to angiopoietin-2 compared to angiopoietin-1. Nucleic acid sequences encoding the polypeptide, as well as pharmaceutical uses of the polypeptide in treating diseases such as cancer and inflammation are also provided. 
IP Reference US2015322414 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed Yes
Impact work with Inotrem and LifeArc is ongoing to use the ligand trap as part of a pre-clincal model in the development of novel therapeutics to treat sepsis
 
Title PHAGE-BASED DETECTION OF BORRELIOSIS AND MEANS THEREFOR 
Description This invention relates to methods of detecting Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato or for detecting Borrelia associated with Relapsing Fever (RF), kits for carrying out such methods, and methods of treating Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato or RF infections in a subject. Uses of phage specific for Borrelia are also provided. 
IP Reference WO2018083491 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Described else where - see Collaborations section for details