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GSK Discovery Fast Track Challenge

GSK have recently launched their Discovery Fast Track Challenge.  This scheme is an opportunity for academic researchers to work with GSK scientists on the development of new medicines.   It is aimed at academics that have identified a drug development concept and wish to work with GSK to translate novel science into new medicines.

The Discovery Fast Track Challenge is looking for proposals that are able to address the following questions:

Do you have a clear therapeutic hypothesis?

GSK are looking for a coherent ad supportable hypothesis for the development of a medicine that would provide therapeutic benefits to particular groups of patients.

Do you have a defined target and/or pathway?

You should have identified a specific drug target linked to disease and can propose ways of modulating this to provide a effective and safe therapy

Do you have enabling expertise?

The Discover Fast Track Challenge is a partnership.  You should have generated data which provides proof of concept for your proposal and, ideally, already developed key reagents and assays.

The deadline for submission of a brief non-confidential summary is the 24th of April 2015.  Please note that you should contact your relevant Technology Transfer Office in the first instance who will be able to support you with the application process.

GSK_DiscoveryFastTrack_Flyer    GSK_DiscoveryFastTrack_PI_Tips

www.openinnovation.gsk.com


China-United Kingdom Cancer (CUKC) Conference 2015

Venue: National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP
Date: Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July 2015

The 4th China-United Kingdom Cancer (CUKC) Conference is being held on the 17th – 18th July 2015 at the National Museum, Cardiff. The Conference is hosted by Cardiff University, together with our partners and co-organisers, Peking University, Capital Medical University and Yiling Group.

The Conference will bring together elite speakers and distinguished representatives from China and the UK who will share their state of the art knowledge and experience in clinical, translational and basic research in Cancer. The conference will also serve as a platform to explore and discuss collaborative opportunities. Previous Conference details can be found here and a draft Programme is available here

To register your attendance, please complete and return the Conference Registration Form and Abstract Template by Monday 2nd March 2015 to cardiffchina@cardiff.ac.uk. Both forms, along with Fee information, are available on our website: http://cukc.org.uk/how-to-register/. Accepted abstracts will be published in a SCI listed journal.

If you would be interested in Sponsoring the Conference, opportunities and package information is available here http://cukc.org.uk/sponsors/

Should you require any further information, please contact: cardiffchina@cardiff.ac.uk


Life Science Bridging Fund

Life Sciences Bridging Fund

The Life Science Research Network Wales are pleased to announce that they are working with the Welsh Government on establishing a Proof-of-Concept fund for the Life Sciences.  The Welsh Government has identified the Life Sciences as a key economic sector and have already made a number of other major investments such as establishing the Life Sciences Hub Wales and the Wales Life Sciences (Arthurian) Investment Fund.  To further support these initiatives the Welsh Government has just agreed to consider “in principle” an additional sum for a Bridging fund in the Life Sciences, to bridge the gap between basic sciences and commercialisation.  Part of this will involve matched funding with the Private Sector, which is a model already strongly exemplified by the Life Science Research Network Wales and Arthurian. We are hopeful that the model will be operational by the start of fiscal year 2015/16.

This fund will enable researchers to develop the commercial potential of their research thus generating significant economic, social and health benefits for the people of Wales.  The fund will be open to researchers from across Wales and support a broad range of life science areas including:

  • Drug Development
  • Diagnostics
  • Medical devices

Projects will be awarded via open competition and assessed on research excellence and commercial potential.   Projects will be assessed by an independent panel chaired by Dr David Owen OBE, who was previously responsible for establishing the MRC’s independent technology transfer arm – MRC Technology.

The fund represents a major opportunity for members of the Life Science Research Network to develop the commercial potential of their research proposals.

Further details will be available on the Life Science Research Network’s website shortly.


Latest calls

The Life Science Research Network Wales is pleased to announce the latest call for studentships, post-doctoral research projects and platform grants.

Network Studentships

To further develop research capacity within Wales and promote engagement with external partners, the Life Science Research Network is launching its 3rd call for PhD students. Academics are invited to submit project proposals for part-funded 3 year PhD studentships which are expected to start on the 1st of October 2015.

The Network will provide up to £40k towards the cost of a PhD studentship with the expectation that the balance of funding will be provided by an external company, research funder or from institutional funds.

Click here for information on applying and application forms: Studentships

Deadline for Applications:31st March 2015

Postdoctoral Research Projects

Research Projects are specifically aimed at allowing academics to undertake highly speculative risky research with the ultimate goal of providing exemplification data to submit  major research applications.  These seedcorn projects  are highly flexible and the Network expects that the majority of projects will be less than 12 months in duration but will consider proposals of up to 24 months in exceptional circumstances.  Match funding is not a pre-requisite and applicants can apply for up to £50k for projects less than 12 months in duration or £100k for projects up to 24 months.

Click here for information on applying and application forms: Postdoctoral Research Projects

Deadline for Applications:31st March 2015

Platform Grants

The Network seeks to support a number of assays or platform technologies in areas of drug development which would benefit researchers from across Wales.  Applicants are expected to  collaborate with other academics  and offer free access to a limited number of samples generated by researchers from across Wales.   Applicants can apply for up to £50k and whilst match-funding is not a pre-requisite, it may be important if the call is over-subscribed.

Click here for information on applying and application forms: Platform Grants

Deadline for Applications:31st March 2015

Tenovus Cancer Care Studentships

Tenovus Cancer Care and the Life Science Research Network Wales are pleased to announce a join call for a PhD studentship to work towards the development of new therapeutic treatments for cancer. This laboratory based 3 year PhD studentship will be fully funded at a maximum of £30k per annum. (total Award £90k)

Academics from any institution within Wales are project proposals that their project is directly relevant to the discovery and development of new or existing drugs for the treatment of cancer.

In addition to the above, Tenovus Cancer Care will also provide the student with the following benefits

  • Conference fees for National Cancer Research Institute Conference or equivalent
  • Communications Training
  • Opportunity of patient centred experience through one of Tenovus’ Cancer Care’s support services.

All studentships are expected to start by the 1st of October 2015.

Click here for information on applying and application forms: Tenovus Cancer Care Studentships

PLEASE NOTE: If Tenovus Cancer Care does not wish to support the project, it will be automatically considered as part of the Network’s standard studentship call. If subsequently awarded as part of the standard call, the applicant will be required to secure appropriate co-funding from either an internal or external source as a condition of funding.


BioWales 2015

BioWales 2015 promises to be the biggest and best yet with an international line-up of speakers and industry experts focussing on the life sciences supply chain, providing practical commercial opportunities for growth through novel routes to market in the private sector and NHS.  Registration for BioWales 2015 is already open and Early Bird registration closes on 22 December.  There are opportunities to participate at a number of levels: as delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and in 1-to-1 partnering sessions.

Pharma and Regenerative Medicine supply chain showcases will offer an opportunity to hear from some of the key players in the industry and meet the buyer workshops will focus on routes to market within the NHS and international markets offering an insight and advice on barriers and opportunities.

BioWales 2015
Conference, Exhibition & Partnering
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
4th & 5th March
www.BioWales.com

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The Life Science Research Network Wales 1st Congress

The Life Science Research Network Wales recently held its first Scientific Congress at the StDavid’s Hotel on the 24th and 25th of November.  The Congress was attended by over 90 students and academics from across Wales and was an opportunity for them to highlight their research and discuss the challenges faced in developing the next generation of therapeutics.

The Network also held a dinner where Mrs Edwina Hart MBE (Minister for Economy, Science and Transport) and Professor Mark Drakeford (Minister for Health and Social Services) awarded a number of prizes. The Network wishes to congratulate the following:

 

PhD Presentation

Winner:  Cecilia Cima

Runner Up: Alex Greenshields-Watson

Highly Commended: Katharina Sauberli

From left to Right: Professor Malcolm Mason, Professor Mark Drakeford, Katharina Sauberli, Mrs Edwina Hart OBE, Cecilia Cima, Alex Greenshields-Watson, Professor Chris McGuigan.

From left to Right: Professor Malcolm Mason, Professor Mark Drakeford AM, Katharina Sauberli, Mrs Edwina Hart MBE AM, Cecilia Cima, Alex Greenshields-Watson, Professor Chris McGuigan.

PhD Poster

Winner:  Rachel Rowe

Runner Up:  Maria Konstantinou

Highly Commended:  Alessandra Cavaliere

 

From left to right: Professor Malcolm Mason, Professor Mark Drakeford, Rachel Rowe, Mrs Edwina Hart OBE, Alessandra Cavaliere, Maria Konstantinou and Professor Chris McGuigan.

From left to right: Professor Malcolm Mason, Professor Mark Drakeford AM, Rachel Rowe, Mrs Edwina Hart MBE AM, Alessandra Cavaliere, Maria Konstantinou and Professor Chris McGuigan.

Post Doctoral Presentation

Winner:  Linda Oyama

Runner Up: Dr Hoi Ping Weeks

Highly Commended:  Laura Morris.

From left: Prof Chris McGuigan, Dr Hoi Ping Weeks, Linda Oyama, Laura Morris and Prof Malcolm Mason.

From left to right: Professor Chris McGuigan, Dr Hoi Ping Weeks, Linda Oyama, Laura Morris and Professor Malcolm Mason.


Life Sciences Research Network Congress brings together Wales’ finest Drug Discovery Researchers

The Life Sciences Research Network Wales is part of the Welsh Government’s £50 million Ser Cymru programme aimed at building research capacity within Wales.

As part of this initiative, the Welsh Government established three research Networks addressing the Grand Challenges of:

  • Life sciences and health
  • Advanced engineering and materials
  • Low carbon, energy and environment

The Life Science Research Network Wales is based in Cardiff University and led by Professors Chris McGuigan and Malcolm Mason. This £15M initiative was supported by a grant of £7.3M from the Ser Cymru programme and HEFCW and aims to discover and develop new drugs in areas of unmet medical need.

 

The Network brings together leading academics from Aberystwyth, Bangor Cardiff, and Swansea Universities and aims to support over 100 new research projects. The Network works closely with a number of industry partners, the NHS and other major funding bodies and has a strong focus on commercialising the outputs of academic research for ultimate patient benefit.

 

In its first year, the Network has supported a range of activities including PhD students, individual research projects and platform technologies at universities across Wales. This Scientific Congress is an opportunity for students and leading academics from across Wales to highlight their research and discuss the challenges faced in developing the next generation of therapeutics.

 

The event will also be attended by a number of leading international researchers as well representatives of the private sector such as multi-billion pound Bio-Technology entrepreneur and Chair of the Welsh Life Sciences Fund, Professor Sir Chris Evans.

 

Mrs Edwina Hart OBE (Minister for Economy, Science and Transport) and Professor Mark Drakeford (Minister for Health and Social Services) are also attending and will be awarding prizes for best presentations and posters to PhD students and young researchers.  The event will also include a presentation by Professor Julie Williams, the Welsh Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, on the Ser Cymru vision.

 

Although early days, the Network has already had considerable success of commercialising the outcomes of the academic research and is supporting a PhD student to work with a new biotechnology company to develop a technology originally patented by Cardiff University. The technology aims to inhibit the spread of breast cancer and is an early example of the World Class research developed within Wales potentially leading to new therapies. The company is already listed this year on the London Stock Exchange and hopes to be ready to go into human clinical trials within 12-18 months. Other projects have been started in infectious diseases and dementure. Prof McGuigan, the Network director said: “the interest shown in the Network across Wales has been remarkable, with over 220 new drug discovery projects being submitted to us for review in our first year – and we have supported over 50 of them. This Network is set to make a real difference to the health and wealth of Wales.”