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POSTED ON: 25 July 2022
MedCity 945X542
Members of MedCity’s network of life-sciences companies heard about the latest new developments and opportunities at The London Cancer Hub during an online event last month.

Innovation Gateway tenants Vesynta and The Exercise Clinic, and researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, gave a series of presentations on what’s been happening recently in their areas of research, painting a picture of a vibrant and entrepreneurial culture developing at The London Cancer Hub. 

Dr Ivana Poparic, Head of Life Sciences Cluster Development at MedCity – which hosted the event online – opened by highlighting the “huge need” for new R&D space in London. 

“Our research at MedCity has shown that the main driver that brings companies into London is access to world-leading life-science talent and collaboration,” she said.

“The Innovation Gateway offers opportunities for companies to collaborate with scientists at the ICR, but also to interact with each other to drive forward the development of new treatments and technologies.”

Professor Paul Workman, Harrap Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the ICR and former Chief Executive, gave an overview of the ICR’s research and potential areas for industry collaboration. Dr Anguraj Sadanandam, Team Leader in Systems and Precision Medicine at the ICR, then talked about his research in developing biomarkers into potential clinical tests as well as what the ICR is doing to encourage an entrepreneurial culture. 

Providing a clinical perspective at the event were Dr Richard Lee and Dr Christina Messiou from The Royal Marsden– the ICR’s partner hospital and a supporting partner in The London Cancer Hub. They highlighted key trends in AI, biomarker research, imaging and data science.

Facilitating collaboration 

Also speaking at the event were two entrepreneurs who have recently chosen to locate their companies at the Innovation Gateway. 

Emily Curtis, who co-founded The Exercise Clinic in 2016 with Chris Cottrell, outlined how their company is providing personalised exercise programmes for people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Emily said that being located at the Gateway has facilitated crucial connections with The Royal Marsden, paving the way for a pilot study of their programme among 300 men with prostate cancer.  

Dr Jugal Suthal, co-founder and CEO of MedTech company Vesynta – recently announced as new tenants at the Innovation Gateway –spoke about the company’s new technology platform to deliver personalised and precision drug dosing for a range of diseases including cancer.

“Over the next 12 months, we want to design a clinical trial to conduct a real-world implementation and assessment of our technology,” Dr Suthal said. 

Reflecting on the event, Andy Carr, Business Development Manager at the ICR, commented: “There’s a real sense of excitement and momentum now building around the Innovation Gateway and it’s hugely encouraging to see such talented, driven entrepreneurs choosing to locate here. I look forward to seeing fruitful collaborations develop between scientists across organisational boundaries at the Innovation Gateway – which ultimately we hope will lead to the development of new treatments and technologies that benefit patients with cancer.” 
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