The 2013 prestigious WISE award for Enterprise and Innovation has been awarded to Dr Julie Barnes, CEO of UCLB spinout company Abcodia. It was presented by HRH The Princess Royal during a ceremony at the Science Museum in London on 14th November 2013.
The WISE Campaign encourages women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and has been inspiring females to take up opportunities in these sectors for nearly 30 years. The WISE Awards are a unique annual event, a special opportunity to recognise inspiring organisations and individuals actively addressing the core mission of WISE.
Dr Barnes said: “I am delighted to be presented with this award. Leading a company like Abcodia from its start-up to a stage close to being able to launch a product for cancer screening, has been incredibly exciting and rewarding. In just over two and a half years since Abcodia was formed, we have established many international collaborations to advance tests for the early detection of lung, pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancer. We have also formed an alliance with Cancer Research UK to discover new early detection biomarkers for cancer and recently in-licensed ROCA, a well validated test for ovarian cancer screening, which we aim to make available to women as soon as we can.”
“We have a long way to go, but I would like to thank everyone who has helped us get this far, especially our academic founder, Professor Ian Jacobs; our investors, Albion Ventures and UCL Business; our chairman, Dr Andy Richards; our UCL collaborators; as well as my business co-founder, Chris Hodkinson, and other members of Abcodia’s very capable management team.”
“WISE does a tremendous job at promoting opportunities for women in the STEM sector and I hope that through this award, I can add some support their mission.”
Dr Barnes started her scientific career by studying pharmacology (BSc 1st class honours) before receiving a PhD in Neuroscience. She has spent 25 years working in the industry, first in the pharmaceutical industry and then in the biotechnology sector. From 1996-2001, Julie was Head of Neuroscience for GlaxoWellcome, leading 40 scientific staff in drug discovery programmes for CNS disorders. From 2001-2009, Julie was CSO and board director of a healthcare intelligence company, BioWisdom (now Instem). In this role, Julie lead the healthcare team, helped to raise several rounds of Venture Capital investment and lead the industry adoption of the award-winning Safety Intelligence Programme.
Abcodia is a specialist company engaged in developing biomarkers for the early detection of cancer. The company has developed deep expertise in the methods and technology relevant to the discovery and validation of biomarkers that can be detected well before the symptomatic presentation of cancer. Through an exclusive commercial license to the UKCTOCS biobank, the company is able to use samples from this population cohort to develop a pipeline of diagnostic products for the early detection of a range of cancers. Abcodia has received investment from Albion Ventures and UCL Business.
For further information, please see: www.abcodia.com
WISE helps organisations to inspire women and girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as pathways to exciting and fulfilling careers. Its mission is to push the presence of female employees from 13% to 30% by 2020, boosting the talent pool to drive economic growth.
For more information, please visit: http://www.wisecampaign.org.uk