Author(s): BioStrata
Publication Date: 09th November 2017
At BioBeat16. Photo by Nigel Luckhurst, courtesy of Cambridge Judge Business School

As an innovative collaborative platform for bioscience, BioBeat recently released its 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2017 report. This demonstrates the exceptional leadership in life science across five key translational themes. In the last two blogs, we focused on the report’s Great Science and Financial Enablers themes, which recognized 10 talented scientists and 10 financial experts who are making a significant impact towards solving our global healthcare challenges.

Below we explore the report’s Collaboration theme, highlighting the incredible achievements of women who bring together different groups across life science, kindling new ideas that will ultimately benefit our health.

Trailblazers who are joining up innovation through collaboration

Innovation and success in bioscience is becoming ever more reliant on collaborative approaches, such as partnerships and permeability between industry and academia. As a champion of this movement, BioBeat’s 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2017 report presents 10 talented women leaders who are instrumental in bringing together different communities to drive forward discovery in life science.

One of the leaders celebrated in BioBeat’s report is Professor Véronique Birault, Head of Translation at the Francis Crick Institute in London. Véronique is pursuing an approach that optimizes industry-academic collaboration, accelerating the translation of the institute’s discoveries into disease diagnostics or treatments. Together with her team, she has established a ‘close distance translation relationship’ with two of the largest UK pharmaceutical companies, GSK and AstraZeneca. Véronique will be delivering the welcome address at the upcoming BioBeat17 summit on 16 November, hosted at the Crick.

Another trailblazer recognized in the report is Barbara Ghinelli, Business Development Director at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, UK, where she is nurturing the HealthTec Cluster. Barbara is fully leveraging unique science facilities, such as the Diamond Light Source, by bringing together academics from bioscience, the physical sciences and engineering, as well as innovative healthcare companies, to forge ground-breaking cross-disciplinary discoveries.

The “Rising Stars” of collaborative leadership

Also presented in the report’s Collaboration theme are two “Rising Stars”: Professor Joanne Hackett, Chief Commercial Officer at Genomics England, and Bhavna Hunjan, Head of Corporate Strategy & Development at C4X Discovery.

Joanne is ensuring that the huge data asset offered by the 100,000 Genomes Project is delivering benefits across the board, including in the clinical, academic and industry sectors. For example, after a collaborative analysis of rare disease patients revealed three potential candidate novel genes, Joanne instigated follow-up analyses to expand the clinical relevance.

In her role supporting the commercial department of C4X Discovery and re-shaping its strategy with its CEO, Bhavna is establishing collaborations with international organisations to harness the best drug discovery capabilities for the development of new treatments.  She is also developing alliances with UK non-profit organisations to maximise the impact of intellectual value developed by academics and in-house at C4X.

Looking ahead to a future of partnerships

As part of BioBeat’s report, “Top Trends” in collaboration were highlighted, with the Movers and Shakers discussing how working across disciplines and sectors will be increasingly crucial for UK life science. For example, Joanne remarks, “The UK’s Life Science Industrial Strategy is encouraging collaboration for translation and impact. Very few entities can do everything themselves, which is why collaboration is key going forward.”

Letizia Goretti, Director for Portfolio Management and Business Operations at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, London, explains that overcoming global healthcare challenges is not just about funding power. “The inclusion of radically different views and capabilities is crucial,” she says. “Only when the initial hurdles of such diversity are overcome, collaboration thrives and results flow.”

To find out more how these 10 inspiring women are leading the way to a more collaborative and ultimately healthier world for us to live in, you can download the full report here:

Download BioBeat’s 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2017 report.