The Faculty of Medicine is delighted to report the outcome of the sixth Imperial Confidence in Concept (ICiC) competition, which was instigated to support the College-wide development of novel devices, diagnostics and therapeutics for areas of unmet clinical need.
This year, a fund in excess of £1.6M was made available from the MRC (Confidence in Concept fund), NIHR Imperial BRC, Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund, EPSRC Impact Acceleration Accounts, and HEIF funding, as well as support from NIHR BRC at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research.
For the second year in a row we have also partnered with AstraZeneca to offer the AZ Innovation Fund as part of the ICiC call. The aim of the AZ Innovation Fund is to enable drug discovery by facilitating the development of new technologies and the exploration of disease biology.
Why is the ICiC important?
The aim of the scheme is to strengthen the College’s early translational research portfolio, providing funding to help with the translation of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics towards clinical testing and/or a marketable product. This is achieved by providing vital pilot-funding to bridge potential gaps between discovery research and applications for MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme or Developmental Clinical Studies Funding Scheme.
Since its inception in 2012, 117 projects have been funded, leveraging in excess of £61M in follow on funding, transforming the pull-through of discovery science to clinical application across the College.
The 2018 award winners
The cross-College panel, which was chaired by Professor Roberto Solari and included external members, was very impressed with the high quality of applications this year.
Proposals covered the full breadth of biomedical translational research across the College, and examples include:
- Lipid A analysis by MALDI-MS on intact bacteria discriminates chromosomal and plasmidic resistance to last resort antibiotics (Larrouy-Maumus);
- Using novel cytokines to accelerate wound closure (Higgins);
- Development and testing of Novel Bio-orthogonally Modified Viruses as Vaccine Candidates (O’Hare);
- Self-Homing Intelligent Needle Ecosystem (SHINE) (Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena).
We are also pleased to announce two co-funded projects with our colleagues at the NIHR BRC at The Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer Research:
- Autologous jejunal mucosal transplantation combined with topical lubiprostone to reduce xerostomia after chemoradiation (JETPROX): a pilot study in 5 patients
- A collaboration between Dr Vinidh Paleri (RMH) and Dr Peter Clarke (Imperial)
- Fluorescent Probes with Exceptional Brightness for Early Diagnosis of Breast Cancer by Direct Imaging
- Led by Imperial’s Dr Fang Xie in collaboration with the Royal Marsden’s Dr Steve Allen and Dr Richard Sidebottom