The Queen’s University of Belfast Confidence in Concept (CiC) programme 2017

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast


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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.
Description A conserved protein O-glycosylation pathway in the Burkholderia genus essential for bacterial fitness and antigenicity in humans
Amount £455,987 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/T005807/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 03/2023
Description Burkholderia species in sugarcane: the relationship among antifungal production, intrinsic antimicrobial resistance, and pest biocontrol
Amount £66,928 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R022607/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 04/2019
Description Characterising the blood methylome to develop an early detection test for high grade serous carcinomas.
Amount £99,377 (GBP)
Funding ID 28145 
Organisation Cancer Research UK 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2019 
End 09/2020
Description ICURe award to Dr Fiona Furlong's group - ECR David Campbell
Amount £35,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 06/2019
Description ICURe award to Dr Jonathan Coulter 's group - ECR Niall Byrne
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2020 
End 03/2021
Description Invest Northern Ireland Proof of Concept
Amount £112,467 (GBP)
Funding ID Invest Northern Ireland PoC 905 
Organisation Invest Northern Ireland 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2019 
End 05/2021
Description Collaboration with Intezyne 
Organisation Intezyne
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution QUB are studying mechanisms and biomarkers for stratification of BRAF mutant CRC patients for specific treatments
Collaborator Contribution Intezyne have provided proprietary therapeutic compounds under MTA which target the pathway of interest, as well as participation of senior staff in project review
Impact In - kind contribution of materials
Start Year 2018
Description Partnership with Università di Napoli Federico II 
Organisation Federico II University Hospital
Country Italy 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution We are investigating a novel polysaccharide with potential application in a number of therapeutic areas
Collaborator Contribution Universita di Napoli have world-renowned expertise in identification of polysaccharide structures and sequences. They are conducting an analysis on our polysaccharide to enable us to define the exact structure. We have been advised by our patent attorneys that this was a critical step in allowing us to file for patent protection around this material, which would in turn allow for commercialisation. The work is being conducted at a substantially reduced cost compared to full rates, and Universita di Napoli will hopefully become embedded in this project as a valued partner
Impact Work is ongoing at the time of writing
Start Year 2018
Description This invention relates to the use of biomarker LRG1 as a biomarker for preeclampsia for use from the first trimester. Elevated levels of leucine-rich alpha 2 glycoprotein 1 (LRG1) can predict risk for the future development of preeclampsia or other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. The predictive test will comprise the measurement of LRG1 protein, peptide fragment, DNA or RNA, from either blood, plasma, serum, urine, saliva or amniotic fluid. The invention provides a method and a test kit to assess the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant woman. The method or test can utilise antibodies to measure levels of LGR1 in a sample. 
IP Reference WO2018153879 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed No
Impact Applicant: The Queen's University of Belfast. Inventors Alice Cheung, Clare Kelly, Timothy Lyons, Chris Watson Validation study in progress
Title Diagnosis and treatment of burkholderia infections 
Description Patent pending in relation to diagnostic application of an antibody / antigen recognising burkholderia bacterium for human and veterinary purposes 
IP Reference GB2013389.8 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2020
Licensed No
Impact Patent application pending and technology still in development
Description This company develops technology for a DNA-methylation based cancer biomarker panels, with a first product being for applications in Ovarian Cancer diagnostics 
Year Established 2020 
Impact The company founders won £50K of funding from Innovate UK's ICURe programme for customer discovery and team formation, and then successfully applied for £300K of support from the Innovate UK aid for start-ups scheme. GenoMe Diagnostics were awarded the "best new start on the island of Ireland" prize at the Intertrade Ireland seedcorn competition in 2020, winning an additional 20K Euro