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TeloNostiX triumphs at Innovation Awards

29 June 2018

Innovation & Impact Award
The TeloNostiX team receive the People’s Choice Award: Professors Duncan Baird & Chris Fegan, Dr Kevin Norris, Professor Chris Pepper, Dr Joe Birkett, with Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, and Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK.

A test that predicts the aggressiveness of common types of cancer has been crowned ‘People’s Choice’ at Cardiff University’s Innovation and Impact (I&I) Awards.

Working in partnership with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, TeloNostiX – a Cardiff University spin-out – developed a prognostic tool that helps clinicians and patients understand the likely need for treatment and choose the most appropriate course.

Around 350 people voted in the I&I Awards ‘People’s Choice’ social media competition – with more than half casting their vote for TeloNostiX.

The test can forecast the outcome of common cancer types like breast cancer and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL). It is based on analysing the length of telomeres - caps found at the ends of chromosomes that protect genetic information from damage.

Known as Single Telomere Length Analysis (STELA), the technology has been spun out into TeloNostiX thanks to a 10-year collaboration between Professors Duncan Baird, Christopher Fegan and Christopher Pepper at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine.

Professor Baird, Chief Technology Officer, TeloNostiX, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been voted ‘People’s Choice’ in the 20th Anniversary Cardiff University I&I Awards. The volume of votes is testament to the way cancer touches so many lives. Our tests will allow cancer patients and their clinicians to make informed clinical decisions about their disease, and we are looking forward to making the test available to patients in the near future.”

Linda Hazzard, from Weston-Super-Mare, won a £300 iPad after voting for TeloNostix – and offering a winning tagline. 

Linda’s entry explained: “As a CLL patient myself, having been on Watch and Wait for 7 years still with no idea if and when I will need treatment, it would have been so valuable to have had a more accurate prediction of my disease progression. This type of knowledge can be life changing for a newly diagnosed patient, to allow them to make decisions about their future with more accuracy.”

Innovate UK’s interim Executive Chair, Dr Ian Campbell, presented the People’s Choice Award.  

“TeloNostiX is a perfect demonstration of how academic research can transform society,” said Dr Campbell. “All tonight’s winning projects have shown how academic knowledge can be made useful, with research being applied to tackle societal challenges and encourage economic growth, bringing benefits for all.”

The I&I Awards also celebrated four other winning finalists:


Impact on Policy Award

Improving policy and delivery with Public Policy Institute for Wales: Cardiff Business School, PPIW and Welsh Government worked together to improve public policy.

International impact

International Impact Award

Developing a Cyber Security Analytics Centre of Excellence with Airbus: Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics joined Airbus UK to create a centre specialising in cyber security analytics

Business innovation

Business Innovation Award

Detecting damage to body armour with Microsemi Semiconductor Ltd: Cardiff School of Engineering and Microsemi developed a damage detection device for military body armour.


Innovation in Healthcare Award

Building a schools health research network with Public Health Wales: Cardiff School of Social Sciences and Public Health Wales collaborated to build a national database of school health statistics to shape policy.

The Innovation and Impact Awards are organised by the Cardiff University Innovation Network, which has promoted business-university interactions for more than 20 years.