Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), The University of Manchester (UoM) and QIAGEN celebrated the launch of their strategic partnership this week, with ambitious plans in the pipeline for the tri-party agreement.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham opened the celebration event held at Citylabs 2.0 on MFT’s Oxford Road Campus, which is the home of QIAGEN’s Global Centre of Excellence for Precision Medicine.
He said: “Greater Manchester has a history of backing itself to go where we want to go. By welcoming QIAGEN into our city – as part of Europe’s largest academic clinical campus – and with everyone pulling in the same direction, this partnership has the ability to change lives and make us a major global player.”
The collaborative agreement between the three organisations was formalised earlier this year, and provides a great opportunity to build on Greater Manchester’s reputation as a world-class health innovation and life sciences hub.
Speaking at the event, Professor Rick Body, Honorary Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Group Director of Research and Innovation at MFT said:
“Research and Innovation improves the care we deliver to our patients. Ensuring that we have the new technology that’s fit-for purpose can only happen through a culture of partnering with industry.
“The co-location of QIAGEN on our Oxford Road Campus is a brilliant asset and builds on our already outstanding research and innovation infrastructure at MFT and across Greater Manchester.
“This framework will further streamline and accelerate our joint projects and will allow us to design and deliver research that will really make a difference in the NHS and benefit our diverse population.”
The partnership will focus on three initial areas of activity which includes; the integration of different diagnostic data types (‘omics’), predictive biomarkers for early detection of cancer, and better tests for infectious disease and understanding how the body reacts to infection.
Professor Neil Hanley, Vice-Dean for Research and Innovation UoM said: “The strategic partnership between the UoM, MFT and QIAGEN builds on the evermore impressive research and innovation powerhouse we have in Manchester, and we are delighted to be part of it.
“We have an excellent pipeline of talent which will prosper under this agreement, adding another dimension to the world-leading life sciences and experimental medicine already taking place in the city and at our University.”
QIAGEN moved to Citylabs 2.0 in 2021, facilitated by MFT’s partnership with Bruntwood SciTech, and is a world leader in genomic medicine and molecular diagnostics.
Kai te Kaat, Vice President, QIAGEN Head of Global R&D Molecular Diagnostics said: “As a pioneer in Precision Medicine, QIAGEN has already been part of Manchester’s scientific community for more than a decade. During this time, we became the global leader in co-developing companion diagnostics with pharma and biotech companies to guide clinical decision-making in diseases such as cancer.
“This partnership will not only be a valuable incubator for accelerating biomarker research but also enable an extended collaboration in other areas like infectious diseases, immune response or integrated omics.
“Together we will be able to drive the development of new and promising diagnostics for the benefit of patients worldwide.”
The partnership also supports the existing world-class research and innovation infrastructure we have across Greater Manchester, including the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and the NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility, both hosted by MFT, and recently renewed for the next five years with greatly increased funding.