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  TGIO event Monday 12th October

The CRUK Cambridge Centre's Onco-Innovation Programme, jointly with the Early Detection Programme and University Enterprise Zone, are hosting a virtual event focusing on Translating Genomics in Oncology. Click the image above for more details and to register.

Milner Update: October 2020


Seminar Series Dates (also available by clicking)

Our monthly seminar series will be continuing this term, kickstarting on October 22nd. Click the image above to find out more!

Although the autumn will bring further challenges for us all, the Milner Institute is continuing to work together with academics and our industry partners to create exciting new events and opportunities for collaborations in the months ahead.

Our monthly seminar series will be continuing this term, kickstarting on October 22nd with a talk from Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute. These events are open to all online, and we hope you will join us then. There will also be a chance to learn more about entrepreneurship at the Translating Genomics in Oncology event on October 12th.

We are delighted that the institute is open for lab-based researchers at this time. If you would like to know more about capabilities available at the Milner Therapeutics Institute, take a closer look inside with this online tour video with Facilities Manager Gian-Marco Melfi.


Centre for Pathway Analysis Update


Dr Joo-Hyeon Lee

Dr Namshik Han
Namshik Han’s team in the Milner Centre for Pathway Analysis has collaborated with the group of Joo-Hyeon Lee at the Wellcome MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, on their study published in Cell Stem Cell last month, on stepwise mapping of cell fate transitions during inflammatory signalling control of alveolar regeneration.

“This was a great opportunity to work with the Lee group for their studies of dynamic cell differentiation using advanced lung organoid models. We were excited to see the additional insights that can be uncovered by applying our computational methods to their novel multi-omic datasets” says Namshik Han.

Read more »


University Enterprise Zone: Update


The Milner Therapeutics Institute and strategic partners* will launch a digital platform later this autumn as part of the new University Enterprise Zone (UEZ) initiative. This key online tool will support interdisciplinary collaborations and interactions between a wide range of health-tech stakeholders. The platform will also showcase events from across the University and cluster and highlight active funding calls.

For more information on the launch and how to join the platform please email .

*Maxwell Centre, Office for Translational Research, Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences, Cambridge University Health Partners.


Company Spotlight


The Milner Institute is home to the Milner Therapeutics Consortium, which is based on a research agreement signed by three academic centres in Cambridge and eight pharmaceutical companies: the University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Babraham Institute; and Astex, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Shionogi, Pfizer, Janssen R&D, Ferring and Eisai.

The new video below, from the Strategic Partnerships Office at the University of Cambridge highlights the vision of Andy Neely, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations, for working with industry and the growing strategic partnership of Milner Consortium member AstraZeneca with the University.

“Working with the best and brightest scientists … is what’s going to enable us to turn science into medicines and have a huge impact on patients’ lives” says Menelas Pangalos (Executive VP, Global Head of Biopharmaceuticals R&D AstraZeneca).


Academic Spotlight


Cecilia Mascolo
Dept of Computer Science and Technology
University of Cambridge

Research focus: Making mobile and wearable devices become efficient and effective behavioural sensors at large scale. Topics include mobile systems and machine learning for mobile and wearable data.

Recent advance from the lab: Voice and respiratory sounds data collection from mobile phones and analysis for pre-screening and automatic diagnosis of COVID-19. Read more »

Key challenge for the field: Improving efficiency and accuracy of the device systems. Overcoming noise, heterogeneity and variability in the data.

Most exciting basic or clinical breakthrough in the past few years: Using sensors on mobile commodity devices (such as phones) as effective passive fine grained human behaviour collection; for example, we have successfully studied the relationship with mood and behaviour seen through the lens for phone sensors. Read more »

Find out more about Cecilia's work by visiting her website here »


Affiliated Company News


Nine companies (including Consortium members Pfizer, AstraZeneca, GSK and J&J) have pledged to continue to make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals the top priority in development of the first COVID-19 vaccines. Read more »

Shionogi announced its commitment to address COVID-19 by pursuing the discovery of novel therapeutics and the development of vaccine and diagnostic products. Read more »

Astex and MD Anderson have announced a strategic collaboration agreement aimed at accelerating the clinical evaluation of Astex’s pipeline of products for patients with certain types of leukemia. Read more »

Eisai announced regulatory approval in Japan of Jyseleca® a JAK1 preferential inhibitor for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Read more »

Amgen has announced a collaboration with Eli Lilly to significantly increase the supply capacity available for Lilly's potential COVID-19 therapies. Read more »

Twist Bioscience have launched two SARS-CoV-2 antibody panels to expedite research for COVID-19. Read more »

Immundnz has been awarded an Innovate UK grant to unravel the changing immune environment of human lung cells in COVID-19. Read more »

BenevolentAI's platform-derived hypothesis for a COVID-19 treatment has been validated in US NIAID randomised control trial. Read more »

Microbiotica have been named Business Weekly Young Company of the Year 2020. Read more »

Cytiva have announced planned investment of 500 million USD over five years to raise manufacturing capacity. Read more »

STORM Therapeutics are partnering with FutureNeuro to explore epilepsy treatments. Read more »

Cantabio Pharmaceuticals have received a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to develop a novel DJ-1 protein-based biomarker in biofluids for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Read more »

Healx have teamed up with the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics to accelerate novel treatments towards the clinic. Read more »

Phoremost and XtalPi have initiated a collaboration for AI-based pharmaceutical drug discovery, to rapidly develop high-quality leads from novel targets and sites and explore ultra-large chemical spaces to discover novel inhibitors. Read more »

Bioascent has invested £1 million to expand its drug discovery service offering. Read more »

QKine have announced the appointment of Rob Nixon as Head of Commercial and Cassie Doherty, Investment Director at Parkwalk, to its board, in preparations for scaling commercial operations internationally. Read more »

LifeBit have appointed a new general manager, Frank Seo who will be responsible for the development and implementation of Lifebit’s growth strategy and overall management of commercial operations. Read more »

Biomax Informatics recently made AILANI for COVID-19 (freely available here) to support the rapid and successful search for drugs and suitable vaccines against COVID-19 infections. Read more »

Standigm and SK Holdings C&C have released an AI-based target identification platform, iCLUE&ASK™, on a trial basis to the public to accelerate drug discovery. Read more »




ELRIG Drug Discovery Digital
6th - 16th October, Online

Drug Discovery Digital will include cutting edge talks and examples of new directions in drug discovery. The scientific programme will be held over a 2-week period and will feature over 50 world-class speakers with 8 main session tracks and 2 plenary keynote speakers. For 2020 these are: Darrin Disley (Mogrify) and Professor Sarah J Tabrizi (UCL). Read more »

A postdoc’s guide to IP & commercialisation
8th October, 6-7pm, online

In this webinar, Cambridge Enterprise will present to the Postdocs of Cambridge Society on how to turn ideas generated from research into tangible inventions, viable therapeutics or devices, services, or even a new business that benefit society. If you are a Cambridge postdoc and would like to learn more about how to commercialise the outcomes of your research, including protecting your intellectual property, or disclosing your inventions to the University, Cambridge Enterprise will be holding this webinar to explain how it‘s done and how they can help. Read more »

Cancer Beware: How to apply high throughput cell panel screening to advancing drug development
14th October, 4-5pm, Online

The next seminar as part of the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences' (CATS) Gateway to Translation (G2T) series of webinars and online events. In this talk, Dr David Sorrell, Manager of Horizon Discovery Ltd., will discuss high throughput cell panel screening and how to apply this technology to advancing drug development. His talk will be followed by a live Q&A session. Read more »

Ferring Pharmaceuticals webinars
12th October - 8th December, Online

A series of webinars outlining Ferring Global Drug Discovery, therapeutic areas, and partnering approach. Read more »

Cambridge New Therapeutics Forum (CamNTF)
21st October, 6-8pm, Online

The October meeting of the Cambridge New Therapeutics Forum (CamNTF) will be hosted by the Cambridge Alliance on Medicines Safety (CAMS) online. This will be a broad session focussing on recent advances in technologies as applied to toxicology research before focussing on immunology with a very topical talk on Covid. Speakers will include Dr Rhiannon David, Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca; Dr Daniele Biasci, CAMS Junior Fellow and Dr James Thaventhiran, Programme Leader at the MRC Toxicology Unit. Read more »

Milner Seminars Online
22nd October, Online

This monthly seminar series will be back in the autumn beginning with an online talk from Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Read more »

28th November, Online

Free to attend, RAREfest20 is a full day Cambridge Rare Disease Network festival featuring interactive exhibits showcasing cool science, visionary technology, and pioneering organisations improving lives and bringing hope to those affected by rare diseases. Read more »

Contact us

The Milner Institute
Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre
University of Cambridge
Puddicombe Way
Cambridge CB2 0AW, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1223 767111 |

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