Collaborate to Accelerate
A cell-therapy focused partnership between industry, academia, charities, and the NHS has launched in the UK; we spoke with Mike Hannay, Managing Director of Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF), and Academic Lead John Hunt to find out what it’s all about
James Strachan | | Interview
What is MTIF?
A really big challenge in healthcare is getting innovations to patients quickly; it can take up to 17 years for a product to go from proof of concept to clinical use. MTIF aims to accelerate the development of innovative medtech products – including cell and gene therapies – that improve patient outcomes. As a partnership between two universities in Nottingham, UK, the NHS, investment groups, and industry networks, MTIF supports companies from “bench to bedside” in developing the next generation of medical technologies.
Why did you both decide to get involved?
Mike: I have spent my career developing new medicines and medical technologies that I hope have improved the lives of patients. Over 30 years ago, I was involved in developing treatments addressing the symptoms of AIDS; as science progressed, anti-retrovirals came along and we were able to treat AIDS as a chronic disease rather than a terminal one. We now understand the genetics associated with a number of diseases enabling the personalization of medicine and I was delighted to lead the pharmaceutical development of Lynparza as Vice President, Medicines Development at AstraZeneca. This scale of innovation is amazing – life changing – but it can also be protracted. And that led me to join the NHS and head up the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), which is charged with accelerating the adoption of innovation within the NHS. The role involved discussions about MTIF with regional universities, hospitals, and government, and I recognized early on that MTIF was unique in approach, bringing together all the elements needed to enable quicker patient access to innovations. How could I not get involved?
John: With over three three decades of research and industrial experience developing and testing implanted medical devices and cellular therapies, I am very excited to be part of MTIF. This is a great opportunity to unlock invention and entrepreneurship, and accelerate innovations in the healthcare arena. By uniquely bringing academic and industrial expertise together within its auspices, MTIF will help enable the delivery of next generation therapies to meet the increasing demands made on healthcare.
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