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24 September, 2019 - 11:42 By Tony Quested

Cambridge duo fight ovarian cancer from new China innovation hothouse

Cambridge tech twins Abcodia and AstraZeneca have joined forces to accelerate earlier detection of ovarian cancer from a significant new base in China.

Working with the Wuxi National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone (WND), Abcodia will establish offices in the Wuxi International Life Science Innovation Campus (I·Campus), created by WND and AstraZeneca. 

The BioIndustry Association (BIA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the I-Campus and with AstraZeneca in China. The I-campus will serve as AstraZeneca’s new China HQ. A key player at the official opening ceremony earlier this month was Jane Osbourn, formerly of AZ subsidiary MedImmune in Cambridge, chair of the BIA and also recently named chair of exciting young Cambridge life sciences trailblazer Mogrify.

I·Campus is an innovation incubation platform offering services in R & D, commercialisation and professional services in the life science industry for domestic and foreign companies looking to establish or expand their presence in China. 

From this location, Abcodia will work collaboratively with AstraZeneca and other partners in a life science innovative ecosystem to establish its ovarian cancer screening technology in China.

China represents a significant market opportunity for Abcodia, especially in the context of the recently published ‘Healthy China 2030 Strategy’ which has a focus on the implementation of cancer prevention, promotion of early screening, early diagnosis and early treatment, reduction of cancer morbidity and mortality, and improvement of the quality of life of patients.
 
Recent data released from the China National Cancer Centre reaffirmed 17,000 deaths from ovarian cancer in 2015 and 34,000 new cases diagnosed annually.

Recurrence of ovarian cancer occurs in over 70 per cent of treatment of all patients and prolonged illness is painful and treatment very costly.

Dr Julie Barnes, CEO Abcodia said: “Choosing the I·Campus as a strategic location for our business in China is an important step forward for Abcodia. China’s Healthy China Strategy aligns well with Abcodia’s early cancer detection strategy and we are excited to be able to gain momentum from being located so strategically on I·Campus to facilitate our commercialisation goals.”

Chairman Dr Andy Richards added: “China has an ambitious vision to implement early detection of and screening for cancer and this makes it an exciting place to be introducing Abcodia’s world leading early detection product for ovarian cancer which results from major UK investment in clinical research.”

The first 10 companies joining the I·Campus were announced at the official opening ceremony. They include Abcodia, Japanese medical equipment company Omron, Chinese clinical trial company Tigermed, British medical device company ClearSky, Hong Kong oncogene test company Sanomics, Russian natural linguistic analysis company Semantic Hub, Chinese Taiwan medicine transmission platform company HCmed, and Indian healthcare AI company Tricog.

• Photograph: BIA chair Jane Osbourn at the official opening of the Wuxi International Life Science Innovation Campus on September 7, 2019

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