Translation through collaboration – with Arthritis Research UK


Translation through collaboration – with Arthritis Research UK

Date: August 14, 2017

A collaborative approach to translational research is the foundation of a successful partnership between the IKC and Arthritis Research UK. This year, five new projects have been awarded Proof of Concept funding and project support.

They include:

  • An investigation into the use of 3D printing to produce patient-specific knee implants that will avoid the need for total knee replacement surgery.
    Professor Richie Gill, University of Bath
  • Development of a test to identify hip abnormalities in babies. Detecting and treating hip dysplasia in new-borns can help prevent early onset osteoarthritis in adults.
    Daniel Perry, University of Liverpool
  • Development of a new regenerative medicine based treatment for degenerative disc disease.
    Chris Sammon, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Development of a standard computerised approach that can reliably detect and analyse spinal fractures in patients with osteoporosis.
    Alejandro Frangi, University of Sheffield
  • A pre-clinical investigation of a novel construct for the treatment of joint damage.
    Virginie Sottile, University of Nottingham
What have been the key ingredients that have made this a successful research translation partnership? IKC Technology Innovation Manager, Graeme Howling, and ARUK’s Research Translation Manager, Sarah Odoi, consider the two organisations’ complementary skills.

Graeme Howling: “What we’ve really learned from working with ARUK is how to involve patients and the public in our work. Through ARUK’s strong links with patients, each of our POC projects now has strong patient participation to help advise from an end user point of view – this is an approach that we want to develop for other IKC programmes.

“The model we’ve developed with ARUK has worked so well that we’re planning similar partnerships with other organisations, again based around Proof of Concept funding calls. We’ll also be announcing a further POC funding call with ARUK later this year.”

Sarah Odoi: “Some of the most interesting and valuable aspects of working with the IKC have been seeing how they manage the translational research process and the expertise they draw together to review projects. We’ve learned some useful lessons about how to evaluate these kinds of technologies. Their networks and links with industry have also added an extra layer of credibility to ARUK’s growing capability in research translation.

“I think the IKC approach is really productive, in terms of encouraging more academics into this field, and identifying and supporting promising early stage projects, so they’re in a position to apply for proof of concept funds – though of course, there’s always more work to be done!. I particularly like the way that the IKC encourage researchers to think broadly about their projects and set realistic expectations.  The IKC process also helps researchers understand that progressing a technology for the benefit of patients requires working in a multidisciplinary environment, collaborating with stakeholders that they might not have considered before and in partnership with other organisations. The IKC with ARUK can assist in bringing these stakeholders together and in turn develop stronger propositions.

Further information on the Arthritis Research UK Translational medical technologies development fund can be found on our funding call pages (opens in a new tab).

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