CAMBRIDGE, UK – (15th November 2023) – The quicDNA project triumphed at the Advancing Healthcare Awards (AHA) Wales 2023, having been nominated for two awards for its transformative impact on healthcare in Wales. The cross-sector project won both the Overall Winner out of all shortlisted entrants across all categories, as well as the Award for New Ways of Working, which celebrates its innovative approach to accelerating the treatment pathway through earlier diagnosis for lung cancer patients.
Winners were announced at the annual Advancing Healthcare Awards on 20th October in Cardiff. Now in its 16th year, the ceremony celebrates the vital work of healthcare scientists and allied health professionals delivering system change across Wales.
The quicDNA project is evaluating liquid biopsy testing in Health Boards across Wales over two years. A liquid biopsy is a simple and less-invasive alternative to surgical tumour biopsies done through a blood test. It can be collected early in the diagnostic pathway and provide genomic analysis, which is needed for delivering targeted treatments. It is hoped this will mean suitable patients can begin treatment earlier, and ultimately provide vital evidence to allow liquid biopsy tests to be incorporated into the diagnosis pathway for all Health Boards in Wales. Currently, All-Wales Medical Genomic Services (AWMGS) is the only NHS genomics laboratory to be offering an in-house large gene panel liquid biopsy test in the UK.
QuicDNA has brought together partners including the AWGMS, multiple Welsh Health Boards, Welsh Government, Health and Care Research Wales, Life Sciences Hub Wales, various industry partners (including Amgen), and third sector organisations.
The Advancing Healthcare Awards commemorated the project’s collaborative approach, which demonstrates the strong leadership needed to deliver system-level transformation in healthcare in Wales and improve patient outcomes. As part of the Collaborative Working Agreement with Amgen, Healthcare Solutions Manager, Lewis Egal, is currently seconded one day a week to AWMGS as a Project Manager for quicDNA, further demonstrating the project’s collaborative nature.
The project has also been driven forward by the inspiring fundraising efforts of patient advocate Craig Maxell – who has now helped to raise nearly £1 million to support its roll-out. Watch Craig’s incredible story here: https://vimeo.com/818777823/8b35560622?share=copy
Richard Price, Director of Value, Access & Policy (VAP) at Amgen in the UK & Ireland, said:
“Our vision within VAP is to make it possible for every eligible patient in the UK to access our innovative medicines by delivering lasting health improvement across health systems through value-based collaborations.
The quicDNA project fully embodies this vision, and we are honoured to be a part of a collaboration that has now been recognised for its dedication to deliver system-level transformation in healthcare in Wales.”
Amgen UK & Ireland’s General Manager, Russell Abberley, added:
“As an industry partner, Amgen is delighted to see the quicDNA team recognised by this award. It is testament to the dedication, innovative thinking, and successful collaboration from all parties, to develop a liquid biopsy blood test for lung cancer diagnosis that fully aligns with our core mission to serve patients.”
Sian Morgan, Consultant Clinical Scientist and Laboratory Director for All Wales Medical Genomics Service (AWMGS), said:
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude that the QuicDNA Project is one of the finalists for the ‘New Ways of Working’ award at this year’s AHA Cymru Awards. I am so honoured to have QuicDNA recognised in this way.
The QuicDNA project is a truly collaborative project between the NHS, third sector, and industry. We are grateful that the project which we are so passionate about also resonates with others.”
To stay up to date with the QuicDNA project, please visit the Life Sciences Hub Wales’ project page.
GBR-NP-1123-80003 | November 2023