MedCity to lead battle against cancer and dementia 

11/04/2014 00:00 
UCLH is hoping to play a key role in a new science and healthcare collective which was launched today with the aim of making major breakthroughs in the fight against diseases such as cancer and dementia.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, this week launched MedCity, a major new initiative backed by some of the country’s senior academics and business people, which will bring together the “golden triangle” of London, Cambridge and Oxford universities as well as hospitals, scientific institutions and businesses.

The partnership sees the three London academic health science centres – UCLPartners (of which UCLH is a founding member), King’s Health Partners, Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre – join up with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and the Greater London Authority to transform the life sciences sector in the south east of England and create a world-leading cluster for life sciences.

The new organization is tasked with providing a “go to” point for external partners to understand, access, invest in and collaborate with life sciences activity across the region.

MedCity aims to increase investment in research and development, and speed the translation of science into innovative treatments for patients and populations in the south east.

Sir Robert Naylor, UCLH chief executive, said: “This is an incredibly exciting project and UCLH expects to play a key part. As one of the first biomedical research centres in the NHS and a founding member of UCLPartners, we have been at the forefront of transforming research from laboratories into treatments which can make a real difference to patients. We look forward to working with MedCity to put the UK on the map as a global leader in the battle against conditions like dementia and cancer.”

The Mayor announced that £2.92m is being invested in the project by England’s university funding body – the Higher Education Funding Council for England - as well as £1.2m from the Mayor’s office. It is expected that the growth in the life sciences sector as a result of MedCity will have a major impact on employment in the region, the national economy and the translation of science into innovative treatments for patients.

UCLPartners is renowned for collaborative working, bringing together academics, clinicians and patients through its six Academic Medical Centres. MedCity builds on this foundation by linking UCLPartners with the breadth and strength of life science expertise across London and the greater south east of England.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Together with Oxford and Cambridge we form a ‘golden triangle’ of scientific innovation… MedCity will span everything from research to clinical trials to manufacturing, across biotech, med tech and health tech.”

Professor Sir John Tooke, UCLPartners Academic Director, said: “London, together with Oxford and Cambridge, conducts world class biomedical research to rival any cluster in the world. Our challenge is to promote that capability and secure the industrial engagement and financial support to translate science to benefit UK health and wealth.

“Building on a history of increasing collaboration between the Academic Health Science Centres, MedCity provides the vehicle to realise that ambition, ensuring London and the South East becomes the leading global hub for development of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics to address medical need.”

About MedCity

MedCity has been established by the Mayor of London and King’s Health Partners, Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre and UCLPartners with co-operation from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The organisation is supported by an advisory board that includes leading life sciences figures in the UK such as Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society and CEO of The Francis Crick Institute, and Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, alongside successful entrepreneurs including Dr Herman Hauser and Dr Simon Kerry as well as leading political, medical, charitable and business institutions.

MedCity’s core objectives are to:

  • Provide a “go to” point for external partners to understand, access, invest in and collaborate with life sciences activity across the region.
  • Build a more entrepreneurial culture - championing new areas of collaboration, and fostering a commercial mind-set in the research and clinical community.
  • Create and promote a globally distinctive life sciences offering, to drive health and wealth gains.


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