Innovation news in brief: Health imaging; genomics; Catalyst Programme, Sonardyne

The new study will create the world's biggest collection of scans

World’s largest imaging study launched

A health imaging study has beeb launched which will create the world’s biggest collection of scans of internal organs, and transform the way scientists study a wide range of diseases, including dementia, arthritis, cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

Funded by the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, and the British Heart Foundation, the £40 million study will involve imaging the brain, heart, bones, carotid arteries and abdominal fat of 100,000 current participants of UK Biobank, a project set up in 2006 by the MRC and Wellcome Trust to create a research resource of half a million people across the UK to improve health.

Cathie Sudlow, professor of neurology and clinical epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, and UK Biobank’s chief scientist, said: “This very large number of participants involved in the multimodal imaging study is impressive enough. But what makes it truly transformational is the opportunity to combine the rich imaging data with the wealth of other information already available or being collected from participants, particularly their health and diseases during follow-up for many years to come.”

Dr Sara Marshall, Head of Clinical Research at the Wellcome Trust, said: “Capturing such a vast number of images of the human body, in both health and illness, will chronicle disease in a way never attempted before.

“Each day we’re discovering more and more about how genetics and lifestyle play a part in the onset and development of diseases, but this extra piece of the puzzle – seeing physical changes even before symptoms develop – will give us a completely new perspective on how we can prevent and treat them.”

AstraZeneca launches new genomics initiative

AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, have launched an integrated genomics initiative to transform drug discovery and development across its research and development pipeline.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Human Longevity Inc and the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Finland are all partners in the new venture.

AstraZeneca will create a dedicated in-house Centre for Genomics Research at its new HQ at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus to house the project.

Menelas Pangalos, executive vice president, innovative medicines and early development at AstraZeneca said: “Using the power of genomics is the foundation of our ambition to develop the most innovative and impactful treatments for patients. With the advent of next generation sequencing and the increased sophistication of data analysis, the time is now right to immerse ourselves fully in the international genomics community through these pioneering collaborations and through the creation of our own genome centre.

“We will leverage information from up to 2 million genome sequences, including over 500,000 from our own clinical trials, to drive drug discovery and development across all our therapeutic areas. Genomics will be fundamental to our laboratory research, our clinical trials and the launch of our medicines for patients.”

Watch a short video here

BYPY tech finalist duo based at Innovation Birmingham Campus

Two of the finalists for the 2016 Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) awards are tech entrepreneurs based at Innovation Birmingham Campus.

Mike Brooman of Vanti, an audio, visual and IT systems integrator, and Hannah Quinton of GuyKat Solutions, an eLearning solutions provider, will go head-to-head in the final of the BYPY award at Birmingham’s ICC on May 12 at the ICC, Birmingham.

Calling all entrepreneurs!

Applications are now open for the  University of Southampton Science Park's 2016 Catalyst Programme, an opportunity for entrepreneurial spirits with scientific or technology-led early stage businesses.

Catalyst is designed to boost business growth potential and includes six months of free business coaching, seminars and residency in the Catalyst Centre as well as access to an entrepreneurial network, £1,000 cash injection and links to further funding.

No equity is taken and winning start-ups will receive widespread exposure during their time in the programme.

More information is available here

Subsea specialist joins Southampton Marine Robotics Innovation Centre

Subsea technology company Sonardyne International Ltd has become the latest member to join the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) Marine Robotics Innovation Centre in Southampton.

Sonardyne and NOC already have a history of working together, with Sonardyne acoustic positioning equipment currently installed on the NOC’s deep-diving remotely operated vehicle and fleet of Autosub autonomous underwater vehicles, and an Innovate UK funded project currently underway.

This collaboration is expected to see further ocean science projects take place.