Keynote: Innovation Opportunities Institute of Cancer Research

Speaker: Professor Paul Workman, Harrop Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Sutton’s world-leading cancer research and treatment to take a leading role in boosting the region’s economic growth.

Professor Paul Workman

An existing cluster of some of the world’s leading cancer research and treatment organisations in Sutton is aiming to create an industry cluster which will form one of the key foundations of South London’s innovation-based economic growth.

Speaking at the BIG South London Business, Innovation & Growth Summit held at Kingston University’s Town House Professor Paul Workman FMed Sci FRS, Harrap Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the world-leading Institute of Cancer I(ICR) said that partnership working would be key to the success of the new Innovation Gateway in Sutton, enabling better collaboration between researchers, clinicians and the commercial sector.

“We are told in the UK that we are good at making discoveries but not as good at taking them through to practical patient benefit and commercial success,” he told delegates at the event, which brought together more than 200 stakeholders from across higher education, local authorities and businesses to discuss how innovation can be developed to support jobs, skills and economic development across South London.

“Our aim is to build a collaborative cancer research and treatment cluster to support innovative spinouts and start-ups – including those emerging from exciting science at the ICR – and we look forward to welcoming our own spin-out companies as well as companies coming from outside and helping them to flourish.

“We hope we can achieve economic success using the collaborative, partnership BIG innovation south London approach, creating a stimulating environment and partnerships which will as quickly as possible translate fundamental discoveries into applications, patents as well as spin-out companies and licensing opportunities for Big Pharma and the like.”

Located at the heart of the London Cancer Hub, already home to The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the Innovation Gateway will offer high-quality laboratory, office and collaboration space for a range of companies working in the life sciences.

Prof Workman spoke about the existing success of the research cluster, not just in making new scientific discoveries which have transformed cancer treatment but also in commercialising innovation.

He said the ICR’s existing ‘bench-to-bedside and back’ partnership with the Royal Marsden meant they were rated among the top cancer centres worldwide for their impact on research and treatment. And he spoke about one of their existing spin-offs, Monte Rosa Therapeutics, which recently realised £256m investment.

And he thanked the London Borough of Sutton for their collaboration, support and investment in developing the cluster site, describing them as “fantastic partners throughout – so enthusiastic and great to work with.”

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