The Onco-Innovation programme, delivered by the Milner Therapeutics Institute, sits at the intersection between academia and industry. The programme focuses on the application of multidisciplinary academic science across the drug discovery process in order to accelerate the development of cancer therapeutics, and ultimately benefit patients. For this vision to be realised, exchange of know-how, expertise and resources between industry, clinicians and academia is essential. The Onco-Innovation programme promotes collaborative working between these sectors and works across all of the programmes within the Centre to establish academic/industry connections.
Membership of the Onco-Innovation programme is open to academics, clinicians and industry researchers, either working in the field of oncology, or who’s work may have oncology-focused applications. Our current members are made up of researchers from within the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, as well as members from across multiple academic disciplines, including the natural sciences, applied sciences and formal sciences.
We welcome application for membership across all these areas, as we believe that it is the combination of disciplines that provides the greatest opportunity for innovation.
The Milner Therapeutics Institute (MTI) was founded in 2015, with a vision to build collaborative partnerships between academia and industry to maximise the therapeutic potential of academic science. It now boasts a global outreach programme, which includes 80 affiliated private and public organisations, as well as a research institute which opened within the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in 2019. The research institute houses academia, industry and start-ups side by side on the bench, creating an innovative hub for therapeutic research. The Institute is also home to a number of strategic units and academics in residence, including the AstraZeneca-CRUK Functional Genomics Centre, The Cambridge Centre for Proteomics, Dr Manav Pathania, Dr Konstantinos Tzelepis and the start-up accelerator Start Codon. These groups, with their knowledge and expertise, contribute significantly to the unique cross-sector environment the MTI is building.
The Milner Therapeutics Consortium enables collaborative research by lowering the barriers of engagement between industry and academics. This Consortium consists of 3 academic institutes (Cambridge University, the Babraham Institute and the Sanger Institute) and 7 pharma companies (AstraZeneca, GSK, Shionogi, Astex, Janssen, Ferring and Pfizer). Using a pre-signed Consortium agreement, 19 projects have been established since 2015 with Cambridge researchers. Ten of these are focused on oncology with members of the Cancer Centre.
The Milner Therapeutics Symposium 2019 was held on June 25th at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. This was the largest symposium to date with over 500 attendees and parallel tracks on oncology, CNS therapeutics, anti-microbial resistance & the microbiome, and cardiovascular & metabolism. With speakers across computational biology, chemistry and engineering, the event highlighted interdisciplinary advances in biomedical research. Research from the Cancer Centre was highlighted in five talks this year, in the plenary and oncology sessions.
Our ethos is to enable collaboration across academia and industry. We have established a successful model to catalyse and sustain new partnerships in therapeutic research and would like to work with researchers, entrepreneurs and companies to determine how our model can be used to support you.