Barclays, University College London (UCL) and Capital Enterprise have announced the launch of the UK’s first precision medicine accelerator, the P4 Precision Medicine programme, an incubator for startups specialising in disease treatment and prevention taking into account an individual’s genes, environment and lifestyle.
The first cohort will see 12 of the world’s best precision medicine startups complete a six-month programme that brings together industry, healthcare and academia for the first time to create a new ecosystem dedicated to preventive, precise and personalised medicine for all.
The launch of the P4 Precision Medicine programme is part of a wider partnership between Barclays and UCL to support innovation in the healthcare industry. Later in the year, the pair will open a dedicated co-working, collaboration and incubator space specifically designed to bring together startups, key industry players and experts in the healthcare field to accelerate the exchange of ideas, funding, and talent in this growing sector.
In addition to acting as a central entrepreneurial hub, the London-based space will provide residents access to world-class researchers and healthcare partners from UCL, on-site business mentors from Barclays and entrepreneurship expertise from Capital Enterprise.
The announcement demonstrates Barclays’ commitment to supporting individuals and businesses as they develop skills for industries of the future, or key sectors where the UK is in a prime position to succeed on a global stage.
Barclays opened its first two industry-focused centres of excellence, the Lawtech Eagle Lab in partnership with the Law Society and Cranfield Eagle Lab for aviation technology, in 2018 and has a history of supporting the healthcare sector. As the winner of more HealthInvestor awards than any other financial provider, Barclays’ industry expertise has helped health and social care businesses large and small across the UK.
Barclays also offers medtech prototyping facilities at its Salford Eagle Lab, in addition to supporting the launch of the DRIVE innovation unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital last year.
As a member of UCLPartners, one of the largest academic health science partnerships in the world, UCL is committed to driving innovation in healthcare by nurturing the most promising early research discoveries and data science applications. UCLPartners is supporting companies on the P4 Precision Medicine programme to build their business case for eventual uptake by the health system. With insights and connections across the healthcare ecosystem, UCLPartners is well placed to advise companies on how best to approach the NHS to deliver patient benefits.
Jon Hope, director of Eagle Labs at Barclays, said: “The healthcare sector is ripe for disruption and there is a strong drive to innovate and evolve across the entire supply chain. To help support this growing industry, we’re excited to launch a precision medicine accelerator with UCL. By connecting healthtech startups to industry experts, ideas and funding, and equipping individuals and businesses with the skills they need to harness new and emerging technology in healthcare, we can play our part in ensuring these ambitious entrepreneurs will be in the best position to succeed.”
Phil Beales, professor of medical genetics at UCL, added: “Precision medicine is a new paradigm for disease treatment and prevention that considers an individual’s variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle. It is transforming how all patients are being treated. For precision medicine to become the norm, actors from the healthcare, industry and academic sectors must work together to find new solutions. This is why partnering with Barclays is such an exciting opportunity in which the best academic and business minds can work together with entrepreneurs to create a new ecosystem where ideas are exchanged and nurtured rather than the typical one-directional information flow common to most accelerators.”
The announcement of the precision medicine accelerator follows the creation in 2018 of a new business unit at Barclays called Barclays Ventures. Barclays Ventures has an independent mandate to deliver new customer experiences at pace and scale – ultimately driving growth for communities, businesses and Barclays – and is responsible for growing the Eagle Labs network.
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