Industry

The primary objective of the BRC is to translate biomedical research into practice. For much of this translation we work in partnership – with other parts of the NIHR infrastructure, with other universities and NHS Trusts, and with business. We have a strong and successful track record of collaborating with the life sciences and other related industries, and a commercially-responsive culture in embedded throughout the BRC. In 2016, Imperial College was ranked second by Reuters in terms of the most innovative universities in Europe, as measured by patent volume and their impact, industry citations and collaboration. Bringing new products and services to market contributes to the wealth, as well as the health, of the UK.

Imperial Innovations, our technology commercialisation partner, provides technology transfer, intellectual property licensing and protection, support and incubation of spin-out companies, and investment services for BRC investigators. Recently, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, and with the tech transfer offices of University College London and the University of Cambridge, Imperial Innovations launched the Apollo Therapeutics Fund. This £40 million joint venture will provide translational funding for biomedical projects developed at the three universities. It aims to develop promising intellectual property (IP) to the point at which it may be licensed out on commercial terms. Projects supported by the Fund will have access to the best industry-standard drug development expertise and development partners, improving the speed and likelihood of university research being translated into novel medicines.

Over the last 5 years, the NIHR Imperial BRC has leveraged more than £57 million of collaborative industrial investment from the life sciences industry, supporting our early stage clinical and biomedical research. This includes strategic alliances with global pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, UCB, NovoNordisk, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, Roche, MedImmune, and Bayer. We have also established highly innovative collaborations in metabolic phenotyping with the equipment manufacturers Waters Corporation and Bruker Corporation, and also with device technology firms such as MedTronic.

The Pfizer Rare Disease Consortium is a partnership between Pfizer and the Global Medical Excellence Cluster (now within MedCity) to develop a framework within which five universities (Imperial, University College London, Kings College London, Oxford and Cambridge), their partner NHS Trusts and commercial organisations can collaborate to support early-stage drug discovery for the treatment of rare conditions. Within this consortium, an Imperial-led project on Friedrich’s Ataxia was funded, following BRC support.

Our Corporate Partnership team, within the Faculty of Medicine, supports BRC scientists and clinical academics to connect and develop collaborations with industry based on mutual scientific interest. The team promotes BRC research in, for example, the pharmaceutical, device and equipment manufacturing sectors. They assist academics – especially early career investigators – throughout their commercial engagements, manage ongoing relationships and develop sustainable strategic partnerships. We are always eager to hear about your projects and ideas for industrial collaborations. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at enterprise-fom@imperial.ac.uk