Innovation challenges like the Voices of Tomorrow Competition can be the start of great things. This year’s finalists can take some inspiration from LifeImmune:
LifeImmune is a medical device company set up to disrupt the field of allergen testing. Our goal is to provide point-of-care diagnosis of antibiotic allergies from a single finger prick. To this end, we are developing an in-house whole blood immunologic assay using microfluidic technology.
We are first tackling antibiotic allergies because there is an urgent unmet need for medical staff at hospitals and emergency rooms to verify these allergies before determining how to appropriately treat infections. However, we believe that our technology could be more broadly applicable to any drug allergies, potentially food and environmental allergies, as well as to monitor allergen immunotherapy.
Four of the five co-founders of LifeImmune were brought together by the Leaders of Tomorrow Summit 2015, organised by GBR/MedImmune. When we were paired to present a proposal for the innovation case competition we realized that we collectively had the background, expertise, and vision to potentially overcome a significant hurdle in medicine – developing a sensitive and specific whole blood allergen test.
We researched, prepared, and presented the concept at the summit and won the innovation competition judged by a panel headed by Dr Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca and Head of MedImmune. Subsequently, we founded LifeImmune, Inc to transform the concept into reality.
We are now being advised by world-leading allergy immunologists including Dr. Franklin Adkinson, Professor of Medicine in Allergy and Clinical Immunology as well as managing editor of the premier comprehensive textbook of allergic diseases: Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice.
My advice to the Voice of Tomorrow 2016 entrants is to be willing to take risks for an idea they believe will change the world. The only way to fail for certain is to avoid taking a chance. They should take advantage of opportunities to network with and learn from fellow individuals trying to improve human health by participating in events like the GapSummit.
Founder and CEO, LifeImmune, Inc