Physiomics plc (AIM: PYC), a leading mathematical modelling company, supporting development of oncology drugs and personalised medicine solutions, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant by Innovate UK and The Office for Life Sciences as part of the UK Government’s Advancing Precision Medicine programme. The grant-funded project is called “PREDICT-ONC: Precision Risk Evaluation and G-CSF Dosing for Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia Tool” (the “Project” or “PREDICT-ONC”) and will be carried out in partnership with Beyond Blood Diagnostics Limited (“Beyond Blood Diagnostics”) and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (“Blackpool Teaching Hospitals”). The Project’s total costs, shared between the three partners, are expected be £570,651, of which Physiomics’ costs are expected to be £196,251 (primarily comprising staff salaries). The Project costs are 70% funded by the grant, hence Physiomics will receive £137,376 over the course of the Project which will start immediately and is expected to run until October 2025.
PREDICT-ONC is designed to generate data to further develop Physiomics’ personalised dosing tool which has been funded by previous grants, including £68,000 awarded by Innovate UK, as announced in March 2018, and £150,000 awarded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (“NIHR”) to fund the PARTNER study, as announced March 2020. Focusing on cancers treated with docetaxel, PREDICT-ONC aims to address unmet clinical need in the diagnosis and management of chemotherapy induced neutropenia by extending Physiomics’ personalised dosing tool to support clinical decision-making around G-CSF dosing to optimise therapeutic outcomes.
PREDICT-ONC will generate data through an observational clinical trial where patients will be monitored rigorously during their planned course of chemotherapy to gather data on their neutrophil counts, G-CSF treatment and drug-related side-effects. The trial lead investigator will be Prof. Francis Martin, an outstanding researcher who has led over 60 clinical trials and is the Lead Manager at the Patient Recruitment Centre (“PRC”) at Blackpool Victoria Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. PRC Blackpool is one of only 5 NIHR-funded PRCs nationally and contributes significantly to the >100 clinical trials running at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Prof Martin’s team at Blackpool is also a member of the University of Manchester-led NIHR-funded Biomedical Research Centre (launched in March 2023). During the trial, patient blood samples will be taken by traditional phlebotomy and, in parallel, using Beyond Blood Diagnostics’ miniaturised point of care tool in order to assess and validate its ability to generate blood diagnostic data in point of care settings, potentially reducing the need for patients to travel to hospitals and secondary care centres for these tests. Beyond Blood Diagnostics will also be analysing data to determine if their tool can detect other early signs of neutropaenia.
By leveraging the expertise of Physiomics, Beyond Blood Diagnostics and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, we believe there is the potential to develop a solution that could revolutionise the current approach to neutropenia diagnosis and treatment.
Physiomics CEO, Dr Jim Millen, commented:
“We are delighted to have won our fourth Innovate UK award, which we believe is a testimony to the innovative culture of our company. This grant gives us a unique opportunity to capitalise on previous grant-funded work in the personalised oncology space, as well as foster our collaboration with Beyond Blood Diagnostics Ltd, and we are looking forward to working with new partner, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.”
Dr Jim Millen, CEO
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Claire Louise Noyce
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James Dance & James Bellman
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Notes to Editor
About Physiomics plc
Physiomics plc combines cutting edge PK/PD and QSP modelling techniques with cancer biology expertise, to help biotech and pharma companies streamline their drug development journeys.
Our approach is to derive insight from all relevant data in order to de-risk decision making and optimise design of pre-clinical and clinical studies.
Through use of bespoke models and our proprietary Virtual Tumour technology, the Physiomics team has informed the development of over 100 projects, over 50 targets and 75 drugs. Clients include Merck KGaA, Astellas, Bicycle Therapeutics, Numab Therapeutics & CRUK.
About Beyond Blood Diagnostics Limited
Beyond Blood Diagnostics Limited is a spinout from Imperial College London which has already won four Innovate UK grants and benefits from the backing of a number of leading US and UK DeepTech investors. Beyond Blood is developing a new technology to detect and identify various types of blood cells based on their unique biophysical properties. Beyond Blood’s technology leverages off-the-shelf, low-cost components to enable the creation of a small-scale device which aims to reproduce the accuracy of conventional laboratory grade flow cytometers routinely used in hospitals for diagnosis and to enable a full analysis in under 5 minutes.
About Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Patient Recruitment Centre (“PRC”)
PRC Blackpool is funded by the NIHR and one of only five in existence in the UK. Over the last four years the PRC has delivered a range of studies in many specialty areas, achieving many UK and world firsts for clinical trials. PRC Blackpool is also a consortium member of the University of Manchester-led Biomedical Research Centre (“BRC”), which focuses on early clinical translational research. This is the only BRC outside the South, and is a £60 million research entity launched in March 2023 and funded by the NIHR for an initial period of five years.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency that aims to create a better future by inspiring, involving and investing in businesses developing life-changing innovations.
Innovate UK provides targeted sectors with expertise, facilities and funding to test, demonstrate and evolve their ideas, driving UK productivity and economic growth. There is a chance to join Innovate UK’s network and communities of innovators to realise the potential of your ideas and accelerate business growth.
About The Office for Life Sciences
The Office for Life Sciences (“OLS”) is a joint unit between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. OLS exists to improve the health and wealth of the nation by growing a resilient and innovative life sciences sector in the UK, and by bringing new technologies and treatments into the NHS to transform healthcare.
OLS funding for the Advancing Precision Medicine programme is provided as part of the UK Government’s Life Science Cancer Mission. The Cancer Mission aims to make the UK a leading testbed for oncology innovation by accelerating the development and commercialisation of a new generation of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, allowing patients to be diagnosed earlier and offered therapies specifically designed to target their cancer.