University of Cambridge Milner Logo  



Milner Update: September 2022


Kathryn Chapman HeadshotAutumn will see some changes at the Milner Institute as we say goodbye to our Deputy Director Kathryn Chapman, who will be taking on a new career opportunity at the Babraham Research Campus. Kathryn has been a pillar of strength and leadership at the Milner Institute over the past six years, and although she will be sorely missed we wish her all the best in her new journey. Our own Nicola McCarthy will be taking over as Interim Deputy Director while we recruit for the permanent position.

We are delighted to announce that Alexandra Huener has joined the Milner team as our Head of Entrepreneurship. This exciting new role has been created to lead our expanding initiatives for entrepreneurs here in Cambridge, through the Milner Frame Shift bio-incubator, the Affiliated Venture Partner network and the Bio-Spark Fellowship programme being run together with Cambridge Gravity. 

We recently enjoyed a visit with a difference at the Institute, as we welcomed a group of children for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Patient Day. The day — organised by Milner collaborator Dr Matthias Zilbauer and the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute — invited patients and families to discuss IBD as part of their commitment to give patients a voice in research. The day included lots of fun science-related activities for the children, and we were delighted to take the group on a tour of our labs. 

IBD Patient Day Photo

In this issue:

  Milner Events
  Connect: Health Tech

  Affiliated Company Spotlights: Avatrial and Genedata
  Affiliate News


Milner Events


Milner Therapeutics Symposium
Join us for the 2023 Milner Therapeutics Symposium on Wednesday 5th July, which will once again take place as a hybrid event. A fantastic line-up of speakers will present live at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge, and talks will be streamed to an online Symposium platform. More details and registration will be released early next year! 

Milner Seminar Series
Join us on October 19th for a presentation by Dr Ian Roberts, Director of Therapeutic Technology at Healx, who will discuss “Accelerating treatments for rare disease: How Healx uses AI to increase the probability of success in drug discovery”.  

The talk will be held in person at the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre and online, and in-person attendees are also invited to attend a networking reception following the talk. Click here for more details and to register.


Connect: Health Tech


A new podcast episode from Connect: Health Tech explores research commercialisation from an NHS perspective. Navigating the NHS healthcare system can be a daunting prospect for an innovator and Dr Louise Jopling, Commercial Director at the Eastern Academic Health Science Network explains the routes available for those to looking to have their technology adopted into the NHS. Visit Connect: Health Tech »

Connect: Health Tech is currently seeking feedback from online community members, so that the team can continue to provide a great space to connect that reflects what you want. This anonymous feedback survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete and will be live until 14th October. Complete the survey » 

Affiliated Company Spotlights


Company: Avatrial

Who to know: Professor Kourosh Saeb-Parsy, Founder & CEO

Company founded: 2020

Type: Data-driven Biotech

Location: Cambridge, UK

Mission: Avatrial aims to assemble the world’s most comprehensive and scalable multi-dimensional health and disease dataset and interrogate it to transform our understanding of how cancer begins, to improve diagnosis and to develop transformative therapies.

Strategy: In disease, Avatrial will routinely collect tissue samples from patients undergoing cancer surgery and perform state-of-the-art deep multi-omic characterisation of the tissue. The data will be linked with regularly-updated clinical data for all patients. In health, Avatrial will crowdsource longitudinal socio-demographic, environmental, behavioural, physiological (e.g., from wearables) and multi-omic (e.g., from blood, urine and saliva samples) data across ages and races.

Business Model: Avatrial will generate revenue from licensing its data for discovery of new diagnostic or prognostic tests and novel therapeutic agents, as well as through licensing of the IP developed through its in-house R&D program.

Opportunity: Avatrial is seeking partners to join its mission to deliver a paradigm shift in oncology discovery and therapeutics by leveraging and rapidly expanding unprecedented access to healthy and diseased human tissue and data.

Company: Genedata

Who to know: Kevin Teburi, Managing Director 

Company founded: 1997

Location: Offices in Basel, Boston, Cambridge, Munich, San Francisco, Singapore, Tokyo 

Size: 350

Business: Globally leading provider of enterprise software for digitalizing data-rich and complex biopharmaceutical R&D processes and biopharmaceutical R&D processes.

Key Focus: Employee-owned Genedata is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland with offices strategically located in life science R&D hubs around the globe. Combining cutting-edge science with state-of-the-art IT is the foundation of Genedata’s 25-year history. Genedata works closely with global biopharma science leaders to help them deliver innovative biotherapeutics, vaccines, and cell & gene therapies to patients more efficiently. Today, over 200 R&D institutions rely on the Genedata Biopharma Platform, including all top-25 biopharma companies worldwide. The Genedata Biopharma Platform is the market leading solution that digitalizes biopharmaceutical R&D processes and enables an R&D revolution driven by artificial intelligence approaches to generate the precision medicines of the future. 

Affiliate News


Cardiatec logoCardiaTec, a company co-founded by Milner Head of Computational Biology Dr Namshik Han, has secured £1.4 million pre-seed investment to combat cardiovascular diseases using artificial intelligence (AI).

CardiaTec is developing a target discovery platform for analysing large-scale multiomic data — to reveal cardiovascular disease mechanisms and uncover the next generation of targets. 
For more information, visit CardiaTec’s website or read our news piece here.

 BioAscent launched Compound Connect, a web-based interface that provides customers with secure access to a customised online inventory and ordering system for managing compound requirements and libraries. founder and CEO Mark Kotter recently spoke to The Genetics Podcast, to discuss scientific breakthroughs in the field of reprogramming biology.
 Cyclica announced a co-development agreement for drug discovery with Samjin Pharmaceuticals Co., a pharmaceutical company devoted to developing innovative drugs for diseases with high unmet medical needs.
 Cytiva are working with Caring Cross, a non-profit organization, to support development of a CAR-T cell therapy for people with HIV in low-to-middle-income nations.

 Daewoong Pharmaceutical announced FDA approval to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial of a new drug candidate being developed for autoimmune diseases. 
 Genedata and DataHow entered a strategic partnership to integrate their platforms for further streamlining of bioprocess development and manufacturing workflows. 

 Healx held a Wikipedia edit-a-thon with caregivers and rare disease champions to curate content, add citations and create completely new Wikipedia articles on rare diseases, helping to raise awareness for these conditions.
 At the recent Cambridge Business Weekly Awards, both winners in the Life Science category were Milner affiliates. Phoremost won in the Life Science Scale-Up category and Microbiotica won the Life Science Innovation category. 

 Nemesis Bioscience have been awarded a European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator grant of €2 million to advance their work in the prevention of antibiotic-resistant infections. 

 Phoremost has entered into a multi-project target discovery collaboration with Roche.

 Qkine have leased new premises in Cambridge city centre to increase their manufacturing capacity.

 Qkine also selected an organoid image taken by April Foster in the Milner Centre for Pathway Analysis, for display in their newsletter and email signatures! Sign up for the Qkine newsletter here

 Sengenics have appointed Jerry Williamson as their new CEO as part of preparations for next phase of growth. 
 Standigm won a Gold Stevie® Award in the Pharmaceutical category, and a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Computer Software category in the 2022 International Business Awards®.

 Storm Therapeutics appointed Gerald (Jerry) McMahon as President and Chief Executive Officer and Board Director.
 Storm Therapeutics were also named one the 2022 “Fierce 15” by Fierce Biotech as one of the most exciting biotechnology companies in the industry. 
 Twist Bioscience and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology (CoESB) announced a partnership that will enable CoESB members and partners to order a wide range of Twist research and development products.
 Vernalis and Unison Medicines announced a research collaboration on an undisclosed bacterial target, which has long been considered to be undruggable. 



 Cambridge Neuroscience Seminar – New Horizons 
29th September, Cambridge
Cambridge Neuroscience is delighted to announce the 32nd Cambridge Neuroscience Seminar, 'New Horizons'. The strategic vision of the Cambridge Neuroscience IRC (Interdisciplinary Research Centre) is to deliver research innovation in neuroscience and enhance health and quality of life.

 19th Armitage Workshop and Lecture
29th September, CRUK Cambridge Institute and online
Professor Nicholas Jewell from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will be speaking on "Biostatistics in Infectious Disease Research: Test-negative designs from Influenza, Dengue and Ebola to COVID-19". The keynote lecture is the highlight of a full day workshop, with talks from members of the MRC Biostatistics Unit who have been at the fore of the response to COVID-19.

 ELRIG Drug Discovery 2022
4th & 5th October, London
During this conference, ELRIG will celebrate its long history of hosting disruptive and innovative drug discovery technology developments, whilst exploring the next life science revolutions.

 Black in Cancer Conference 2022
10th & 11th October, London
A collaboration between Cancer Research UK and Black in Cancer, this inaugural event will bring together scientists from across the globe to celebrate, collaborate and showcase Black excellence in cancer research and medicine.

 Milner Seminar Series
19th October, 4pm, JCBC Lecture Theatre and online
Join Dr Ian Roberts, Director of Therapeutic Technology at Healx, who will deliver a talk titled “Accelerating treatments for rare disease: How Healx uses AI to increase the probability of success in drug discovery”. This presentation will be followed by networking and refreshments for in-person attendees.

 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Awards 2022
Nominations close: 28th October
Cancer Research Horizons' Innovation & Entrepreneurship Awards recognise the UK's most innovative and enterprising efforts to translate discoveries into benefit for cancer patients.

 ELRIG Protein Sciences in Drug Discovery
2nd & 3rd November, Cambridge
This interactive 2-day event will cover high throughput methods for protein expression, approaches for prosecuting challenging target space and analytical techniques to interrogate protein quality. In addition, AI tools for the development of methods to predict protein production will be discussed.

 RAREfest 2022
25th & 26th November, Cambridge
RAREfest22 is a public-facing, 2-day rare disease inspired festival with interactive exhibits, talks, film and art showcasing ground-breaking science, visionary technology and pioneering organisations, improving lives and bringing hope to those affected by rare conditions. 

 Genesis 2022: Maximising Returns from Life Science Innovation
5th - 8th December, London and online
The annual Genesis conference has been a pillar of the Life Science sector for over two decades, bringing together key opinion leaders, investors and innovators from across the sector to share insight, debate key trends and generate deals.
Contact us

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

Update Preferences | Unsubscribe | Back Issues

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Milner Therapeutics Institute · Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre · Puddicombe Way · Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 0AW · United Kingdom