100+ innovators and leaders within the NHS Cancer community attended the NHS Cancer Programme Innovation Open Call networking event on 26 September 2023 at the Royal College of Physicians, London.
The event, organised by SBRI Healthcare and the NHS Cancer Programme team, was an opportunity for the 14 companies supported by the NHS Cancer Programme Innovation Open Calls to showcase their work, share experiences and build new connections. Representatives from NHS England’s 21 Cancer Alliances who provide care locally also attended and colleagues from the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).
The NHS Cancer Programme Innovation Open Calls focus on improving the early detection and diagnosis of cancer to benefit patients. Through two competitions, £21m+ has been invested in 14 innovations across 270 sites, potentially involving 160,000 patients.
The companies supported are driving forward innovations that help tackle cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma, breast, oesophageal, head and neck, bowel, ovarian, skin, pancreatic, bile duct, and brain cancer, and work with communities and patients including those with Lynch Syndrome and Li Fraumeni syndrome who have a higher likelihood of developing cancer.
The event was opened by Professor Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer and Professor Richard Gilbertson, Programme Advocate, followed by sessions across four themes: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Genomics, Screening & Proactive case finding, and Improving Pathways.
Dominic Cushnan, Director of AI, Imaging & Deployment at NHS England chaired the sessions on AI with a case study from PinPoint Data Science followed by pitches and Q&A with Skin Analytics and Qure.ai.
After networking, Dr Louise Jopling, Commercial Director at the Eastern Academic Health Science Network chaired the Genomics session with pitches and Q&A with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (Guardant Liquid Biopsy project), Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MSI-PLUS assay project) and the Institute of Cancer Research (BRCA-DIRECT project).
Dr Jodie Moffat, Deputy Director, Policy and Strategy, NHS Cancer Programme chaired the Screening & Proactive case finding session with a pitch session and Q&A with Cyted, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (Whole-body MRI project) and iPLATO.
Victoria Doyle, Head of Transformation Programmes at the East of England Cancer Alliance North, chaired the Improving pathways sessions with a case study and Q&A with Open Medical and a pitch session and Q&A with Orion MedTech Ltd, Modality Partnership, endoscope-i Ltd and the University of Manchester (Elecsys® GAAD test, Roche project).
Concluding remarks were given by Professor Richard Gilbertson, followed by networking and further opportunities for innovators to demonstrate their products.
Thank you to everyone who attended and made the event such a success. An online copy of the Programme can be found here.