Connecting cancer programmes through industry engagement and entrepreneurship
The Onco-Innovation programme, administered and delivered by the Milner Therapeutics Institute, sits at the interface between academia and industry, focusing on the application of multidisciplinary science to better understand disease mechanisms and thereby inform cancer detection and patient treatment. One key function of the Onco-Innovation programme is to catalyse and enable exchange of expertise and resources between industry, clinicians and academia to deliver maximum benefit to patients.
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. With members from across multiple academic disciplines including biology, maths, chemistry, physics, engineering and computing, Onco-Innovation is also well placed to promote the development of new technologies. 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 Onco-Innovation programme catalyses and enables collaborative partnerships between academia and industry by leveraging The Milner Therapeutics Consortium. The consortium is based on a research agreement signed by three academic centres in Cambridge (the University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Babraham Institute) and eight pharmaceutical companies (Astex, AstraZeneca, Eisai, Ferring, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen R&D, Pfizer and Shionogi). The agreement is designed to facilitate the speedy exchange of reagents and information for research collaboration with academics across Cambridge. Projects may be established within a researcher’s own laboratories, or within the MTI’s Centre for Pathway Analysis.
The Annual Milner Therapeutics Symposium is an opportunity for scientists from academia and industry to discuss their latest research and its potential to be applied in pharm and biotech towards new treatments. It is the key networking event to foster collaborations with the Milner Therapeutic Alliance.
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, in both 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.