Increasing industry engagement in P4 Medicine: Predictive, Personalised, Preventive & Participatory Medicine

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool

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

10 25 50
 
Description Establishing a new collaborative relationship with Kazia Therapeutics in the field of advanced breast cancer. 
Organisation Kazia Therapeutics
Country Australia 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution presented an overview of PI3K pathway as related to ER-positive breast cancer, the role of this pathway in ER-positive breast cancer and its role in endocrine resistance. I highlighted some of the disparity regarding the possible role of PI3K pathway with regard to early versus advanced breast cancer; and reviewed the key clinical data in early and advanced breast which have utilised PI3K/mTOR inhibitors. I highlighted some if I also provided and overview of some of the strategies that can be employed to study agents in ER-positive BC, namely window studies and neoadjuvant. I went over possible resistant mechanisms and possible treatment approach with CDK4/6 inhibitors.
Collaborator Contribution Kazia under CDI made available the investigational brochure as well as all recent posters and publications related to GDC-0084. A number of published papers were also available which relate to the drugs development and initial pre-clinical data.
Impact Gained access to GDC-0084 cell line for breast cancer studies both in the context of metastatic breast cancer affecting the CNS but also for ER-positive breast cancer given the importance of the PI3K pathway. (1) A teleconference is to be organised with Alan Olivero (discover and developer of GDC- 0084) to discuss possible breast cancer data as well as use of GDC-0084 in context of ER+ breast cancer with endocrine therapy. (Organised to take place on the 21st February 2018). (2) To submit a draft proposal around a cfDNA study in patients with BM secondary to breast cancer. (3) Teleconference with Dr Nancy Lin (Dana-Farber, Boston) regarding their BM proposal. (5) To investigate possible funding streams such as the MRC particularly as they support the P2D scheme.
Start Year 2019
 
Description HTG EdgeSeq Enhanced Training 
Organisation HTG Molecular Diagnostics
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have already received some further funding (NWCRF Research Development Fund) to help establish the HTG EdgeSeq platform within the University of Liverpool by performing some pilot experiments within the LHNC and have established a HTG EdgeSeq Working Group to coordinate this. The enhanced training received was fundamental to gaining the confidence and knowledge to take this forward and to establish the working relationships both with HTG Molecular and across different groups within the UoL. Overall, this activity has strengthened with partnership with HTG Molecular, underpinning the development of the HTG Molecular UK reference lab for UoL's Head & Neck Cancer Centre and enhancing the Research Collaborative Agreement.
Collaborator Contribution An enhanced training package for the HTG EdgeSeq platform for gene expression analysis was delivered following installation of a loaned instrument in Liverpool with and supporting knowledge exchange. The training package developed between the University of Liverpool and HTG Molecular had a number of associated activities: • Organisation and structure, including a teleconference ( 6 UoL + 1 HTG) with HTG technical training lead and Liverpool team to introduce the HTG technology and establish technical feasibility of collaborative provision of Illumina sequencing and training plan. • Training by HTG staff at the University for invited staff provided over a 2 week period included multiple opportunities for engagement of UoL staff in different aspects of the procedure (8 UoL + 1 HTG, approx. 45 person days). • Seminar by HTG (29 UoL + 2 HTG); "Tumour profiling from small FFPE samples using EdgeSeq technology" delivered as part of the North West Cancer Research Centre Seminar Series and advertised across Faculty.
Impact Formal training amounting to 38 person days for UoL staff with staff subsequently running the whole HTG EdgeSeq workflow independently. Supporting knowledge exchange to enhance the ongoing collaboration and future opportunities (data produced during training supports reproducibility of the platform and along with additional data provided by HTG allows development of local bioinformatics support). Additional opportunities for engagement have emerged around the continuing development of the HTG platform to utilise NovaSeq capabilities provided by UoL's Centre for Genome Research (building on work already being performed by HTG in collaboration with Illumina).
Start Year 2019
 
Description New collaboration with InoCure with 2-way KE, training and applied material-production upscaling 
Organisation InoCure
Country Czech Republic 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution An initial 1-week technology transfer was undertaken by Dr Haneef, in which initial discussions of the project to develop were held. Dr Haneef explained the fabrication parameters to the R&D scientists at InoCure. Fom subsequent PDRA interaction ideas have been brought back to the university and we will now be implementing them in the project going forward.
Collaborator Contribution Once requirements were agreed the company carried out the electrospinning and electrospraying with the PDRA who was able to work at InoCure for 4 weeks. She was trained on the company's electrospinning rig, which upscaled the production of the biomaterial. The formulation of the components to develop the material was altered to make it cheaper and safer to produce (different solvent formulations) and some development from the work meant that some components were altered completely (from the original idea) to optimise the drug encapsulation and sustained release.
Impact A cheaper formulation and fabrication method for our project has been adopted along with a better method of drug encapsulation than originally designed. InoCure have been approached to be the commercial collaborators for a post-doc fellowship and expressed an interest in working with the research group in the future and with an application for a PhD studentship project together already submitted. We have identified a number of funding calls available for further new projects and have discussed some ideas for these potential collaborations.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnering to design a more immunogenic Zika vaccine: collaboration with Immunitrack® 
Organisation Immunitrack
Country Denmark 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution A Knowledge Exchange visit to Immunitrack (3 days) by the UoL team [Dr Krishanthi Subramaniam (postdoc leading the project) and Mrs Hayley Hardwick (project manager on ZikaVac). A CDA with Immunitrack was signed by both parties allowing us to share the amino acid sequence of the candidate Zika vaccine for the proposed experiments with IP shared on a provisional 50/50 split based on the relative contribution. The academic links to the University of Liverpool has provided Immunitrack with academic support for a bid to the European Innovation Council Accelerator Funding Scheme; demonstrating the mutual benefits obtained from these P2D funds.
Collaborator Contribution Stephan Thorgrimsen (CEO) and Sune Justesen (CSO) met with the UoL contingent. Screening of two mouse MHC class I alleles using the NeoScreen platform: Immunitrack provided their platform at cost for this proposal. Preliminary data from this collaboration will be incorporated into a project grant
Impact Immunitrack has committed to being an industrial partner with the UoL team on the MRC IIB proposal (January 2020 deadline) and has completed the MRC Industry Collaboration Agreement (MICA) to be used. Immunitrack has provided a letter of interest for the funders (MRC) stating its partnership with the University of Liverpool. A press release has been released supporting the collaboration between Immunitrack, IGH and the University of Liverpool. Preliminary data from this collaboration will be incorporated into the project grant and demonstrates an additional value obtained from the university's initial investment in this project.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Supporting industrial strategic partnerships for the development of Better, Safer Medicines for Children through the NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility. 
Organisation PRA Health Sciences
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Initial exploration of partnerships.
Collaborator Contribution A five year network agreement has been put into place with PRA Health Sciences with a purpose to include increased commercial activity and relationships with site expertise; including 1:1 point of contact with a commercial gatekeeper. Metrics are currently being defined to ensure we can monitor success of this network. Significant discussions progressing a partnership with Wave Life Sciences has been strengthened by P2D monies particularly to progress the DMD current and pipeline commercial activity. Several new contacts and progressive business plans made with large pharma @TEVA (expertise and knowledge exchange in 3D printing) and global partner @Colorcon (formulations expertise shared; outcome = first investigator-led funded study!) and 2 SMEs (@Quotient Science* and Proveca). Partnership with PPD progressed outcomes included refined study set-up activities with this research organization, and we are looking to understand ways to collaborate in the future.
Impact Academia / Alder Hey expertise have been mobilised with 9 industry partners. Whilst it is difficult to quantify the impact in days, there are the following tangible outputs so far. 1 investigator-led study in development 2 investigator-led studies on the horizon 1 network agreements developed to increase commercial study activity and improve ways of working 2 preferred partnership arrangement in development. The networks and preferred partnership arrangements allow us to improve understanding of the challenges, the similarities and differences with winning commercial studies from research organisations and to offer a tailored customer-centric approach. The relationships allow a better understanding of how these studies are offered to site and their demands of a site.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Supporting industrial strategic partnerships for the development of Better, Safer Medicines for Children through the NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility. 
Organisation Wave Life Sciences
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Initial exploration of partnerships.
Collaborator Contribution A five year network agreement has been put into place with PRA Health Sciences with a purpose to include increased commercial activity and relationships with site expertise; including 1:1 point of contact with a commercial gatekeeper. Metrics are currently being defined to ensure we can monitor success of this network. Significant discussions progressing a partnership with Wave Life Sciences has been strengthened by P2D monies particularly to progress the DMD current and pipeline commercial activity. Several new contacts and progressive business plans made with large pharma @TEVA (expertise and knowledge exchange in 3D printing) and global partner @Colorcon (formulations expertise shared; outcome = first investigator-led funded study!) and 2 SMEs (@Quotient Science* and Proveca). Partnership with PPD progressed outcomes included refined study set-up activities with this research organization, and we are looking to understand ways to collaborate in the future.
Impact Academia / Alder Hey expertise have been mobilised with 9 industry partners. Whilst it is difficult to quantify the impact in days, there are the following tangible outputs so far. 1 investigator-led study in development 2 investigator-led studies on the horizon 1 network agreements developed to increase commercial study activity and improve ways of working 2 preferred partnership arrangement in development. The networks and preferred partnership arrangements allow us to improve understanding of the challenges, the similarities and differences with winning commercial studies from research organisations and to offer a tailored customer-centric approach. The relationships allow a better understanding of how these studies are offered to site and their demands of a site.
Start Year 2019