Image from Pixabay.
The Institute of Cancer Research, London’s Enterprise Unit played host to scientists and possible future partners from the commercial sector to discuss opportunities to work together to defeat cancer.
The busy networking event, held at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge, saw accelerator groups, SME businesses and larger organisations from the pharmaceutical and biotech industry meet with leading ICR scientists to hear about our cutting edge research and explore opportunities to collaborate on our latest innovations.
Attendees included members of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Centre for Process Innovation and the Cambridge Business School as well as representatives from AstraZeneca and Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defence contractor.
Lockheed Martin are looking to expand their medical division and are exploring opportunities to carry out medical experiments in space, demonstrating the wide-ranging curiosity about our work.
The ICR’s next networking event will be held in Oxford towards the Spring.
Partnering to Defeat Cancer
The event in Cambridge, run in partnership with life science and healthcare membership organisation One Nucleus, was an opportunity for ICR scientists to go out to where businesses are working and show them the exciting research the ICR is carrying out.
ICR Chief Executive Professor Paul Workman shared our history of excellence in partnering with industry and the benefits of cross-organisational working to both academia and industry.
Associate Director of Business Development Dr Toby Richardson highlighted recent examples of our success in bringing new treatments to market, before ICR researchers and clinicians showcased their work.
The afternoon also provided an important opportunity to discuss how we can share expertise to progress the discovery and development of potential cancer drugs and technologies, to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.
The ICR is one of the world's most influential cancer research organisations. Our discoveries have led to many new treatments for people with cancer.
We are well known for establishing productive partnerships with industry, along with major research successes such as our discovery of the prostate cancer drug abiraterone.
We have more than 100 current partnerships with a range of companies, from small, specialised biotech and medtech firms to big pharma.
The event followed on from a successful meeting at The Royal Society in London, which led to several new opportunities for partnership between ICR researchers and industry partners.
The ICR collaborates with industrial, academic and hospital partners over a range of projects – from drug discovery programmes and biomarker studies, to the development of high intensity focussed ultrasound for the treatment of cancer. Find out more about our recent collaborations.
Working with the ICR
Professor Bissan Al-Lazikani, Head of Data Science at the ICR, talked about the opportunities for Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to unleash new discoveries in cancer research.
Professor Al-Lazikani is applying computational techniques such as machine learning to analyse patterns in data to create new opportunities for drug discovery, as well as informing the way we treat patients - leading to better cures with fewer side effects.
Dr Anguraj Sadanandam, leader of the Systems and Precision Cancer Medicine Team at the ICR, described how they are investigating methods to classify patients with cancer into clinically relevant subgroups to improve treatment strategies.
Dr Sadanandam’s team have developed an exciting new test for oesophageal cancer which uses seven genes to indicate patients that are at risk of relapse after chemotherapy.
Andy Carr, Business Development Manager in the ICR’s Enterprise Unit, said: “Our scientists really demonstrated the breadth of innovative research happening at the ICR and the day gave existing and hopefully future partners the opportunity to talk to them directly about ways they could work together.
“The ICR consistently ranks at or near the top of national and international rankings of innovation, impact on society and research excellence, and we hope this event will lead to new collaborations in exciting areas of scientific research.”
The latest issue of our Enterprise newsletter, Connections, is out now and describes some of our latest achievements in collaboration with industry. Read the newsletter and sign up to receive upcoming issues on our website.