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Promoting economic growth and innovation

OAHP will contribute to economic growth through its vibrant translation and commercialisation economy, engaging all aspects of industry across the Region, from SMEs to major pharmaceutical and medtech companies, leveraging internal partnerships and working with and through OAHSN. This strategy will build on:

  • A strong mid-sized company ecosystem including Nanopore, Immunocore, BlueEarth, Vertex, Novo Nordisk and Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Facility.
  • The regional ‘import and export’ of healthcare innovation by all 15 AHSNs through Innovation Exchange, an AHSN-coordinated approach to identify, select and support the adoption of innovations that improve our economy and patients’ lives. The current call in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will link into the £250m funding that has recently been pledged for the NHS to invest in AI, with the aim of providing AI solutions that will transform care and reduce waiting times.
  • A track record in multidisciplinary biomedical engineering innovations including academic-commercial collaborations and spinouts in areas such as tissue engineering, organ preservation (Organox), remote monitoring (OxeHealth), virtual reality (Oxford VR) and targeted drug delivery (OxSonics).
  • The AHSN Accelerator Programme, with innovations in drug discovery, diagnostics, digital health and service delivery. The SMEs will develop a business venture with the help of experts supporting the programme delivered by Oxford AHSN with BioCity.
    Oxford AHSN and Eastern AHSN, working together to align links with ~1500 life science/biosciences/Medtech/IT and R&D companies across the wider region known as the Oxford-Cambridge Knowledge Arc. OAHP is already working directly with many of the >700 Oxford AHSN engaged companies, including Adaptimmune, Oxford Nanopore and Sensyne Health plc.
  • OBU’s clinical trials unit (OxCATTS), specifically targeting the development and evaluation of local, national and international technology innovations for allied health professions and nursing to support their route into the NHS and other markets. OBU’s Swindon campus will be involved in this work.
  • OBU’s Bio-Innovation Hub, providing space offering equipment, facilities and tailored support for young companies working in the life science sector. In addition, it supports collaborative R&D projects and provides expertise to industry in specific areas of life sciences, including a successful partnership with Porton Biopharma to develop a diagnostic tool for the detection of metastasis in cancer cells and the screening of candidate molecules.
  • UoO’s Bioescalator facility, co-located on the OUH/UoO campus, hosts both early spinout/start-up companies as well as large pharma, including Novo-Nordisk with >100 scientists benefitting from direct interactions across the OAHP integrated clinical-academic campus.
  • OAHP’s newly established Centre for Clinical Therapeutics, based on the UoO/OUH campus (Director Duncan Richards) will work with OAHP biomedical researchers and more widely with the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics industries, to drive promising new drug treatments through decision-making in early phase clinical trials.
  • The OAHP Translational Research Office (TRO), established with a mission to:
    • Identify translational projects addressing unmet medical need and to drive the development of the OAHP’s translational project portfolio.
    • Provide oversight and delivery of translational research projects.

OAHP’s contribution to economic growth is underpinned by the Partners’ spinout and licencing activity. Recent examples include:

  • Perspectum has pioneered the use of new MRI techniques such as T1 mapping to support the detection and accurate, quantitative measurement of liver, gallbladder and pancreatic disease.
  • Optellum uses AI and ML applied to the world’s largest clinical dataset to develop the first AI Clinical Decision Support software for lung cancer diagnosis & treatment, by identifying at-risk patients, reducing unnecessary interventions and expediting optimal therapy for patients with cancer. Now supported for NHS-wide adoption by Innovate-UK.
  • Ultromics developed the FDA-approved EchoGo, which uses AI to accurately calculate routine measurement of heart function, that are highly prone to human inter-observer variability. This includes automated cardiac strain imaging, a unique ‘first’ for an AI application. This activity has been supported by the creation of Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) in 2015, a £600m investment fund focused on new Oxford spinouts and start-ups; the largest of its type in the World. Key features include:
  • A Portfolio of 73 investments with a value £251m of which £69m net valuation uplift with an expected investment of £935m by 2025.
  • £150m of OSI capital deployed, leading to £230m external investment attracted.
  • support for a five-fold increase in the number of spinouts annually, from 4 to ~20.
  • portfolio support for a workforce of 750+ people.

Oxford University Innovations (OUI) provides the OAHP’s capability for IP, licencing and spin outs, seamlessly across all Partners, and has supported:

  • Creation of more than 20 new spin outs for each of the last 4 years (#1 in the UK), including 32 life science companies.
    Raising >£500m in 2019 OUI’s spin outs alone, one third of the total amount of capital raised by spin outs in the whole of the UK. Companies include Oxford Nanopore, a “unicorn” valued at ~$2B, and NightStar Therapeutics, sold to Biogen this year for $877m.
    180 commercial licences completed last year, including more than 100 licences for Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures which are used globally in trials.
  • Two ground-breaking collaborative translational funding mechanisms in the life sciences, established by OUI since 2016:
    LAB282, a £13m partnership with OSI and Evotec SE to create new, commercially focused drug discovery programmes based on Oxford’s world-class basic medical research. LAB282 has funded 26 discrete projects to date and discussions are underway to form the first spinouts based on successfully completed programmes.
  • LAB10x, a £5m partnership to develop new digital health technologies that have the potential for impact in a clinical setting, coupled with collecting data that can be used to elucidate new drug targets.

OBU has extensive experience of commercialising innovation and is in the top ten of UK universities for UK universities for IP income (>£4M), from patented clinical diagnostic assays used globally, including, inhibin A (Down’s Syndrome) and AMH (ovarian reserve in IVF treatment and monitoring ovarian reserve after chemotherapy).