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Accelerating translational research through Cardiff University's Clinical Innovation pipeline

John Bligh

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Funding source

Medical Research Council (MRC)
Cardiff University (CU) is internationally recognised for its basic and clinical research and has an excellent track record in delivering translation and innovation. We have a mature environment for translation, from identification of projects through project management and progression through the translational pipeline to delivery of socioeconomic benefit. As one of the recipients of MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC) funding in 2013 we have a newly established pipeline of translational projects joining our portfolio. Continuing success will be achieved in the new programme by aligning outstanding clinical innovation addressing unmet clinical need with excellent underpinning science in CU’s areas of research strength. Principal research strengths include Neurosciences, Infection and Immunity, Stem Cells, Cancer, Wound Healing and Diagnostics. These are recognised and supported by a CU-wide infrastructure of Institutes and Centres of Excellence. The School of Medicine Clinical Innovation Division will provide the strategic support to direct and manage the CiC funding requested here. CU was one of 5 original pilot centres for the devolved DPFS portfolio concept. Jointly with Bristol, we established a successful portfolio, notably through seed-corn funding; £200K investment leveraged >£4M in follow-on funding, seeded 5 commercial partnerships and 1 clinical trial. CU-led DPFS-funded projects were 100% successful in terms of follow-on funding and progressing to the next stage of translation. In Cardiff we benefit from a vibrant science environment, including mechanisms and funding for collaboration, translation and exploitation. We have a close collaboration with NHS Wales to ensure clinical relevance. MediWales provides easy access to the Medtech sector and Fusion IP (part of IP Group plc), CU’s commercial investment partner, aids investment. We are therefore ideally placed to obtain maximum translational benefit from MRC CiC funding.

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