Innovation at the Sanger Institute

Innovation at the Sanger Institute

Translation: Delivering the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Vision

How innovations are derived, nurtured and developed into therapeutic, diagnostic and commercial products by the Translation Office at the Sanger Institute.

The Sanger Institute conducts both basic and translational research, and has a proud heritage of achieving impact through rapid dissemination of research findings, data and materials. However, further development of scientific discoveries for human health benefit often requires different approaches and activities.

The advent of clinical genomics and recognition of the need to proactively progress research opportunities with healthcare potential led, in 2011, to the adoption of a proactive Translation Strategy with the aim of optimising the contribution of Sanger Institute science to healthcare. To enable this aim we established a Translation Office in 2012 with the remit of identifying, developing and partnering Institute science that might be translatable.

Guiding Principles

The principle we will adopt in deciding a course for the translation of a project is how we can maximize the healthcare benefits of that science. The courses of action open to the Institute span a wide spectrum from choosing early public release of information and data to the protection and commercialization of intellectual property. Our strategy encompasses several not-for-profit and for-profit modes of translation:

  • Open release of data and publication of scientific discoveries.
  • Licensing of intellectual property in an exclusive or non-exclusive manner.
  • Collaboration with industrial partners.
  • Formation of spin out not-for-profit activities.
  • Formation of spin out for-profit companies.
  • Direct commercialisation of our science.

The Translation Office team proactively engages with all core Faculty on a regular basis in order to identify and nurture opportunities at an early stage. Sanger Institute Faculty are therefore encouraged to consider all possibilities. However, Faculty are not expected to carry out translational activities. For those who engage in translation, the potential impact on scientific productivity is carefully considered and arrangements are made to manage conflicts of interest. The importance of establishing industrial networks is also recognised and extensive business development efforts are undertaken on an ongoing basis.

Innovation Team