The Bloomsbury SET – a knowledge exchange programme led by the UK’s Royal Veterinary College (RVC) – has announced a Commercialisation Pilot of 12 new grants for projects which will develop tools to better fight infectious disease or antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Supported by more than £1 million of funding, these projects will bring together researchers and businesses to deliver new vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics that will benefit animal and human health.
With infectious diseases and AMR now a high priority for global public health, there is an urgent need for both academic and commercial sectors to work together more effectively to prepare and respond to existing and emerging challenges.
Through these nine-month pilots, the consortium, comprised of the RVC, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON) led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and SOAS University of London, will target academics in the early stages of their commercialisation journey. The programme will help develop a pipeline of skilled innovators and competitive ideas which can progress to higher Technology Readiness Levels.
The grant recipients
While twelve projects have been awarded grants, highlights include:
- A project led by Javier Guitian, Professor of Veterinary Public Health at the RVC, which will look at probabilistic diagnostic algorithm for early serological detection of Johne’s disease (JD) in dairy cattle.
- A study led by Nicholas Furnham, Associate Professor in Computational Biology of Infectious Disease at LSHTM, which will seek to advance inhibitors targeting Cathepsin D as a new drug treatment for schistosomiasis.
- An iiCON led research project led by David Weetman, Reader at LSTM, and in collaboration with Vestergaard, which will focus on the commercialisation of the LSTM barrier bed net.
Dr Emma Tomlinson, Head of Research Development at the RVC and Chair of The Bloomsbury SET Steering Committee, said: “These twelve projects represent the strongest applications received by The Bloomsbury SET from our partner universities, all working with relevant industry partners. In addition to development funding, the Commercialisation Pilot also includes support from a dedicated mentor and networking and training opportunities through The Bloomsbury SET. We look forward to seeing these ideas develop further along their translation journey.”
Professor Richard Bomphrey, Interim Vice Principal for Research at the RVC: “There has never been a better time to bring together an outstanding interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial consortium to take on the globally important and pressing issues of infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance. The Bloomsbury SET Impact Connector programme will support innovators as they take promising therapeutics from the laboratory to communities worldwide.”