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The University of Oxford and University College London have come together to form CASMI - the Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation.

Under the joint Chairmanship of Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford and Sir John Tooke, UCL Vice Provost (Health) and led by founding Director, Dr Richard Barker, CASMI seeks to address one of the most important societal problems of the 21st century – turning investment in basic research into population health gain. An official launch event to mark this unique commitment by two world-leading Universities is being held at the Wellcome Trust today.

CASMI is a virtual Centre, which brings together CASMI Fellows across the partner Universities, from disciplinary areas including life and biomedical science, ethics, laws, economics, statistics, politics, business studies, psychology, sociology, behavioural science and more. This enables the Centre to bring a uniquely holistic perspective on the core problem that CASMI will tackle - turning bioscience breakthroughs into patient benefit. This challenge is also a specific area of national priority, as addressed by the Government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences.

Dr Richard Barker, CASMI Director said: “We will deliver a unique holistic approach to tackling what’s known as the three main ‘gaps in translation’ – i) breakthroughs in the lab not producing therapies for trial; ii) too many products failing to overcome the hurdles of regulatory approval and reimbursement; and iii) approved products not being used effectively to deliver patient benefit. We will bring together the breadth of academic disciplines across UCL, Oxford and beyond to develop ‘testable models’, such as the Adaptive Licensing project already in train, supported by the Wellcome Trust.”

"Improving the productivity of medical innovation and the speed with which scientific advances are translated into new treatments is critical for the future of UK life sciences. It's our goal that CASMI plays a leading role in this arena," said CASMI Co-Chair Sir John Bell.

CASMI Co-Chair, Professor Sir John Tooke commented that “Drawing on the capacities of two world-class universities and our wider partnerships, CASMI offers the opportunity to rise to the challenge of reshaping the innovation pipeline for the benefit of both patients and the economy.”

Further details about CASMI are available on the website at www.casmi.org.uk