Author(s): BioStrata
Publication Date: 15th November 2017

As an advocate of innovation and collaboration in life science, BioBeat has recently released its 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2017 report. This demonstrates the remarkable achievements of 50 women leaders and entrepreneurs across five key themes encompassing the entire bioscience translational spectrum. In four previous blogs, we explored the themes: Great Science, Financial Enablers, Collaboration, and Patient Impact.

In the final blog in this series, we take a look at the report’s fifth and final theme: Infrastructure Innovation. This focuses on the outstanding advances that ten women are making in transforming research and development processes, and their predictions about how such innovation will drive forward the future of the UK’s life science sector.

Transforming infrastructure to improve patient care

The infrastructure underpinning life science research and development can have a major impact on health innovation, and ultimately on patient care. Ten women who are making great strides towards streamlining this infrastructure and opening up more opportunities for innovation are presented in BioBeat’s recently released 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness 2017 report.

For example, Serena Scollen, Head of Human Genomics and Translational Data at the ELIXIR Hub based at the Wellcome Genome Campus, is working with scientists across Europe to create a collaborative infrastructure for sharing and reusing human data. Serena’s vision is that all human data that can be shared will be shared, and shared responsibly, enabling its discovery, accessibility and analysis to create exciting opportunities for improving genomics and health.

Another outstanding leader celebrated in the report is Dr Janet Allen, Director of Research at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Janet is working with the biotechnology sector to foster translational research at the Trust, having established a multidisciplinary approach involving diverse fields, including computer science, mathematics, bioinformatics, chemistry, and digital expertise. Janet is also guiding new approaches to clinical trials, encouraging the adoption of digital technologies, and formalising the Trust’s interactions with the corporate sector.

Who are the “Rising Stars” of infrastructure innovation?

The report’s Infrastructure Innovation theme also features two talented “Rising Stars”: Sarra Achouri, Co-founder and Director of Marketing at CamBioScience, and Hannah Kerr, Director of Communications and Government Affairs at GSK.

Sarra is recognized for her impressive work to build a global community of scientists around an e-learning platform. This innovative personalised learning platform is powered by machine-learning technology, which adapts to the user’s specific needs by matching content to their individual progress. Initially serving pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as research organisations, the platform promises to develop better-trained scientists to improve the translation of new technologies.

Hannah is leading innovative work at GSK to improve the evaluation, reimbursement and adoption of medicines. She believes that working together collaboratively is crucial to approaching this challenge holistically. For example, she is engaging with the Government, the NHS and NICE to support accelerated access to cost-effective medicines. Hannah is excited that this approach will enable a supportive business and research environment for industry, as well as ensuring that patients benefit from future medical innovations.

What does the future hold?

The theme also highlights the “Top Trends” that are set to transform future infrastructure in life science, identified by some of the individuals recognized in the report. For example, Tara Donnelly, CEO of the Health Innovation Network, sees innovative digital technologies as the way forward in healthcare; she has already witnessed their various benefits as they are adopted across the NHS in London. Not only can they save staff and patients valuable time, but they can help people effectively manage their long-term conditions, and reduce costs associated with paper and postage.

“Another key trend will be around the convergence of existing and new technologies,” remarks Jo Pisani, Partner of PwC Strategy&. “The combination of drug, device and digital technologies will provide immediate health benefits tailored to individual patient needs.” Jo is excited that these propositions will stimulate new business models, new partnerships and new behaviours in the future.

To find out more about how these inspiring leaders are stimulating infrastructure innovation to improve healthcare, you can download the full report here:

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