London diagnostics boosted in R&D collaboration project

A group of London-based diagnostic healthcare SMEs has been awarded match-funded research partnerships to help advance its disease identifying technologies. 

The partnerships are being mediated by London’s life sciences cluster organisation, MedCity, as part of its Collaborate to Innovate: London Diagnostics programme. Through the programme, the companies will be able to progress their research and development (R&D), test, validate, scale-up and implement technology that’s being designed to catch diseases earlier and ultimately save lives. 

Since launching in 2016, MedCity’s Collaborate to Innovate programme has helped launch 19 research collaborations and generated over £1.8 million in 2021 alone. London Diagnostics is the latest iteration of the programme and brings together commercial, clinical and non-profit/charity organisations alongside academic partners to optimise collaborative opportunities across the health and life-sciences ecosystem. 

Match funding for the SMEs will be awarded by the Greater London Authority on behalf of the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP).

Each SME will be matched with leading specialists in diagnostics R&D, clinical translation and commercialisation to create a joint research project, supported by up to £100,000 per project, including up to £50,000 from LEAP.  

The nine projects are: 

BioMavericks & UCL: developing novel biomarkers for detection of early stage pancreatic cancer. 

Curenetics & Queen Mary University of London: developing an algorithm to predict incidents of Graft Vs Host Disease for post-surgery cancer patients. 

iLoF, with mentorship from Roche: testing and refining an optical blood-based differential test for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 

Macusoft & Guys & St. Thomas’ Trust: using AI and digital technologies to standardise clinical intravitreal diagnostics and treatments for macular diseases. 

MultiplAI & QMUL: developing diverse risk profiles in training an AI risk detection platform for cardiovascular disease. 

Mursla with mentorship from Roche: developing a next-generation liquid biopsy test for liver cancer, the third most common cause of premature cancer death worldwide. 

Pear Bio & UCL: optimising organ-on-a-chip technology via patient samples in detection and effective treatment of kidney cancer. 

Vatic & King’s College London: testing the range and accuracy of a next-generation true infectivity test for SARS-Cov2, to inform optimisation prior to real world testing and use. 

Vesynta & NIHR London IVD Co-operative: researching short and long-term economic benefits and outcomes for the NHS to support commercial readiness of a critical bedside drug monitoring and dosing platform in paediatric oncology.  

Official comments:  

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business said: “It’s fantastic to see ‘Collaborate to Innovate: London Diagnostics’ kick-starting these exciting projects. I’m delighted that this LEAP-funded programme is supporting diagnostics innovators in London to progress their technologies and bring them closer to commercialisation and making a difference in people’s lives.” 

 Simon Pitkeathley, LEAP Member and Co-Champion for Small Business said: “The Collaborate to Innovate: London Diagnostics programme is a prime example of how LEAP funding can help support SMEs. It is great to see the programme encourage innovation by enabling small businesses to work with world-class partners in the cutting-edge field of medical diagnostics.” 

 Neelam Patel, CEO of MedCity added: “This programme is one of a series of Collaborate to Innovate programmes that helps to overcome the challenges that SMEs have in finding the right clinical, research and commercial partners to collaborate on diagnostic development, and the funding available at the right time to progress their technologies.  Accelerating cross sector collaboration provides the optimum conditions for commercialisation.” 





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