The partnership between the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford allows us to offer the complementary input of clinicians, academics and patients, as well as world class facilities, expertise and resources. The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) invested over £100m into translational health research at Oxford during the last funding period, by designating it as an NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, increasing its strength in this area. This has resulted in the development of strategic partnerships with industry from multi-nationals to small start-ups.
Strategic Research Alliances
The University of Oxford is working with the UK-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the development, large-scale manufacture and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The University of Oxford now has one of the largest university-based vaccine centres in the world, with a wide range of vaccine development programmes.
The Theme is headed by Prof Adrian Hill from the Jenner Institute together with Prof Andrew Pollard from the Oxford Vaccine Group.
In January 2021, the NHS launched a roll-out of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, with patients at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the very first to get the life-saving jab.
The 6 year Oxford-Bayer Alliance in Women’s Health is a public-private partnership between the University of Oxford and Bayer AG. The alliance has the specific aim of identifying and characterising novel drug targets for women’s unmet health needs in endometriosis, uterine fibroids and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
University of Oxford and BRC scientists leading the alliance include:
- Krina Zondervan, Head of the Nuffield Department of Women’s Reproductive Health, Professor of Reproductive & Genomic Epidemiology, Co-director of the Endometriosis Care Centre.
- Cecilia Lindgren, Professor of Genomic Endocrinology & Metabolism, Nuffield Department of Women’s Reproductive Health
- Adrian Harris, Professor of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology
Oxford University and Oracle team identified COVID-19 variants using the Global Pathogen Analysis System (GPAS). Built using Oxford’s Scalable Pathogen Pipeline Platform (SP3), Oracle APEX, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Researchers are using the system to upload pathogen data and receive comprehensive results within minutes. The Global Pathogen Analysis System is being provided as a free resource to help combat COVID-19 and other microbial health threats and is being used by:
- The University of Montreal Hospital Centre Research Centre
- The Institute of Public Health Research of Chile
- The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam
- The Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research – New South Wales Pathology
- Oxford Nanopore Technologies
- GPAS is also now part of the Public Health England New Variant Assessment Platform
“GPAS is the first industry standards-based service anywhere in the world, offering a standardized sequence data analysis service for users on the cloud,” said Professor Derrick Crook, professor of microbiology in the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine and NIHR Oxford BRC researcher.
The alliance between Novo Nordisk and Oxford aims to establish landmark collaborations for the advancement in research for diabetes and cardiometabolic disease with an aim to work towards innovative medicines that make a difference in patients’ lives. Uniquely, the alliance has seen Novo Nordisk establish a presence onsite at the University of Oxford, with Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford (NNRCO).
The Novo Nordisk – Oxford Fellowship Programme, is a 3-year postdoctoral research fellowship focused on research in diabetes, cardio-metabolism, liver and renal disease.
The University of Oxford has entered a strategic collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Launched in 2021, the Cartography collaboration aims to develop a cellular map of genes and proteins implicated across a range of immune-mediated inflammatory disorders and characterize pharmacologically relevant therapeutic targets.
Acknowledging the broad impact of immune mechanisms, Oxford is now expanding this ground-breaking work over the next three-years.
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)
BMS is a global biopharmaceutical company making advancements in oncology, haematology, immunology and cardiovascular disease. Their prestigious 3-year Fellowship aims to stimulate new scientific discovery and translation and to facilitate skills and people transfer between researchers in academia and industry.
This programme offers fellows an opportunity to gain exposure to the field of commercial drug discovery and development.
Working with Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
The NIHR Oxford BRC is committed to innovation by actively seeking and supporting collaboration with innovative, high–growth companies of all sizes.
Networking events, like the AIMdays (see events), are one of the ways in which we aim to convene communities around divisional research theme priorities.
We will work with you to understand your research focus and to facilitate introduction to the appropriate academic group.
We can liaise with all relevant internal departments to offer a single point of contact during early discussion through to contractual negotiations. Find out more about AIMdays.
Perspectum, an Oxford University spin out, has developed a LiverMultiScan (LMS) imaging device which uses magnetic resonance imaging to non-invasively assess most of the factors measured in liver biopsies, such as inflammation, fibrosis, fat and iron content, and does so in the whole liver. This allows doctors to detect early liver disease without a biopsy, removing the risks of bleeding and pain.
Oxford Nanopore Technologies
This University of Oxford spin-out company has developed faster, better, and cheaper ways of reading the genetic code (sequence) of pathogens using very small portable devices.
Oxford BRC researchers have now partnered with ONT to use this technology to monitor the sequences of pathogens around the world.
See Oxford Nanopore Technologies.
The Cardiovascular Medicine and Imaging collaboration with the Oxford spin-out Caristo Diagnostics has developed a CT image-analysis platform that predicts future heart attacks.
CaRi-Heart received regulatory clearance in Europe, UK, and Australia in 2021 and is being used clinically. CaRi-Heart looks at CT scans performed as part of clinical care, quantifies the degree of inflammation in the heart arteries, and then calculates associated inflammatory risk.
Using this technology doctors can accurately predict the patients’ risk of having a heart attack in the next 8 years, which means they can tailor preventive treatments.
With OxSonics, engineers and doctors are working together to use ultrasound and tiny injectable bubbles to propel and distribute cancer drugs throughout tumours, leading to more effective treatment and improved chances of recovery.
The proprietary SonoTran platform can be used with almost any anti-cancer agent in the most difficult-to-treat solid tumour cancers.
Because no change in the drug is required, the technology can be applied to both licensed and experimental drugs.
Supported by NIHR funding, SonoTran is currently undergoing first-in-human trials in Oxford for metastatic colorectal cancer in the liver.
The University of Oxford is leading a new a phase 2a clinical trial to investigate whether the drug, AXA1125, developed by the US-based biotechnology company Axcella Therapeutics, could treat the fatigue and muscle weakness experienced by many patients who have recovered from COVID.
The trial will be conducted at Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research, based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.