Life Sciences Hub Wales

It was a successful night for QuicDNA at MediWales Innovation Awards, where the programme won the ‘NHS Wales working with Industry’ category. QuicDNA was recognised for its efforts in bringing together industry partners to support the implementation and evaluation of pioneering liquid biopsy technology for lung cancer patients across Health Boards in Wales.  

Photography of three trophies on a gold background

Liquid biopsies involve a blood test to provide detailed genomic analysis to inform targeted cancer treatments. They’re a simple and non-invasive alternative to tumour biopsies and can be done early in the diagnostic pathway. It’s hoped they will allow patients to start treatment earlier. Evidence collected in this evaluation could allow liquid biopsies to become the standard of care for all Health Board in Wales.  

A range of industry partners have supported the project, including Illumina’s technology, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer and Lilly. Other organisations involved in this cross-sector initiative include the All Wales Medical Genomic Services (AWMGS), Tenovus Cancer Care, Moondance Cancer Initiative, multiple Welsh Health Boards, Centre for Trials Research, Welsh Government, Health and Care Research Wales and Life Sciences Hub Wales. 

This award recognised its innovative approach to cross-sector collaboration and how it’s helping to deliver transformation in the NHS and improve patient outcomes. 

Now in its 18th year, the MediWales Innovation Awards celebrate the best of the life sciences sector in Wales. They bring together industry members, academia and health and social care staff to recognise its achievements and highlight the impact of innovation. 

Sian Morgan, Consultant Clinical Scientist and Laboratory Director at AWMGS, said:  

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude that the QuicDNA Project has been shortlisted for the ‘NHS Wales working with Industry’ health award at this year’s MediWales Innovation Awards 2023. I am so honoured to have QuicDNA recognised in this way. 

The QuicDNA project is a truly collaborative project between the NHS, third sector, pharmaceutical, industry, university and patients. We are grateful that the project which we are so passionate about also resonates with others.  We hope that this recognition by the MediWales Innovation Awards can serve as an inspiration to others within healthcare to collaborate more closely with industry, and we’re extremely proud that the project will allow cancer patients with lung cancer to access treatments faster in the future within the NHS.” 

Magda Meissner, Clinical Liquid Biopsy Lead at AWMGS, said: 

“I’m incredibly appreciative that QuicDNA has been acknowledged at the MediWales Innovation Awards. This project demonstrates how partners from many different sectors - including academia, industry, the NHS, the third sector, and patients - can collaborate effectively. QuicDNA aims to have a positive and meaningful impact on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung cancer, making sure they receive faster and more effective treatment.” 

Mark Robinson, General Manager, UK and Ireland, Illumina, said: 

"Illumina is delighted that the QuicDNA study has been recognized once again for its truly collaborative approach in this important study focusing on lung cancer testing using liquid biopsies. As a company, we are committed to collaborating to advance the field of genomic medicine that have the potential to save lives through embedding genomic testing into routine care." 

Cari-Anne Quinn, Chief Executive Officer at Life Sciences Hub Wales, said: 

“QuicDNA is a fantastic example of how cross-sector collaboration can drive vital innovation to the frontline of health and social care. We take pride in our role as a partner in this project, which has the potential to accelerate cancer treatment for patients in Wales and enhance outcomes. And, we are, of course, delighted to see the programme recognised at the MediWales Innovation Awards this year.” 

To stay up to date with the QuicDNA project please visit Life Sciences Hub Wales’ project page.