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Cambridge University announces 'world-leading' industry-academia collaboration initiative

Published on 09/03/17 at 10:57am

The University of Cambridge has announced a new initiative that seeks to build a bridge between industry and academia in the discovery of innovative treatments and diagnostics, known as the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences (CATS).

The initiative aims to marry “excellent science with efficient translation, working across biological, physical, clinical and social sciences and engineering, in partnership with industry.”

Like the home of its leading UK university counterpart in Oxford, Cambridge has become a hub of biotech and pharma activity in recent years, particularly with the arrival of industry forerunners AstraZeneca and Otsuka. The area is also known for its strong clinical trials and clinical science sectors.

All located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the biggest focus point for biotechs outside of the US, this network provides the perfect platform for key collaboration in the sector. The Academy outlined three primary goals: facilitating innovative research in the UK and internationally, education from undergraduate through to postdoctorate, and addressing key legal and policy matters within pharmaceutical sciences.

The Academy will also be partnering with the Cambridge Alliance on Medicine Safety to focus on the development of pharmacovigilance and drug safety networks.

“Healthcare in the future will be provided by a complex interplay of patients, industries and service operators,” remarked Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. “It will involve sophisticated diagnostic tools, digital scrutiny and interpretation using artificial intelligence, and access to an extensive toolbox of therapeutic approaches, all personalised to the individual patient, and available through a redesigned primary and hospital healthcare environment.

“There are few places in the world as well placed as the University of Cambridge to take advantage of this highly multidisciplinary scenario. The Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences will ensure that this capacity is fully exploited to speed up the development of new treatments that will benefit patients locally, nationally and internationally.”

CATS Director Professor Chris Lowe added: “With CATS, we will develop a way of fostering and supporting the community in and around Cambridge to develop new concepts, deliver new knowledge, and to produce people who are better educated in all elements of modern therapeutics. We believe the opportunities that CATS provides for research, collaboration and education will attract academic and industrial researchers from around the world.”

Matt Fellows

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