QuicDNA receives Overall Winner and New Ways of Working awards at Advancing Healthcare Awards Wales 2023
QuicDNA and its partners have triumphed at the Advancing Healthcare Awards Wales 2023, winning two awards for its transformative impact on healthcare in Wales and its potential for roll-out across the nation. The cross-sector project won both the Overall Winner out of all shortlisted entrants across all categories and the Award for New Ways of Working, which celebrated its innovative approach to accelerating the treatment pathway through earlier diagnosis for lung cancer patients.
The programme is evaluating liquid biopsy testing in Health Boards across Wales over 18 months. A liquid biopsy is a simple and non-invasive alternative to 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 patients can begin treatment earlier, and ultimately provide vital evidence to allow liquid biopsy test to become the standard of care for all Health Boards in Wales.
Winners were announced at the annual Advancing Healthcare Awards on 20 October at Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground in Cardiff. Now in its 16th year, the ceremony celebrated the vital work of healthcare scientists and allied health professionals delivering system change across Wales.
QuicDNA has brought together partners including the All Wales Medical Genomic Services (AWMGS), multiple Welsh Health Boards, Centre for Trials Research, Welsh Government, Health and Care Research Wales, Life Sciences Hub Wales, various industry partners including Illumina, and third sector funding and support from organisations such as the Moondance Cancer Initiative.
The Advancing Healthcare Awards recognised that its collaborative approach demonstrated the strong leadership needed to deliver system-level transformation in healthcare in Wales and improve outcomes for people living here. 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.
QuicDNA’s innovative approach was also highlighted through AWMGS’ pioneering approach to genomic testing, which is the only NHS genomics laboratory to be offering an in-house large gene panel liquid biopsy test in the UK.
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 recognized in this way.
The QuicDNA project is a truly collaborative project between the NHS, third sector, pharmaceutical, industry and patients. We are grateful that the project which we are so passionate about also resonates with others.
We hope that this recognition by the AHA Cymru Awards can serve as an inspiration to others within healthcare, and we’re proud that the project will allow cancer patients with lung cancer to access treatments faster in the future.”
Magda Meissner, Clinical Liquid Biopsy Lead at AWMGS, said:
“I am deeply appreciative that QuicDNA has been acknowledged by receiving two awards. This project demonstrates how academia, NHS, industry, and the third sector, with the invaluable support of incredible patients like Craig Maxwell, can collaborate effectively. Our goal is to make a meaningful impact in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung cancer, ensuring they receive faster and more effective treatment.”
Mark Robinson, General Manager UK and Ireland, Illumina, said:
“As an industry partner, Illumina, is delighted to see the QuicDNA team recognised by these awards. It’s testament to the dedication, innovative thinking, and successful collaboration from all parties, to develop a liquid biopsy blood test for lung cancer diagnosis to ultimately benefit patients.”
Cari-Anne Quinn, Chief Executive Officer at Life Sciences Hub Wales, said:
“QuicDNA is a truly pioneering project in many ways. Its innovative genomic analysis delivered through AWGMS could help cancer patients receive pivotal treatment more quickly, and it has also brought together an extensive range of partners from many sectors working together to create these outcomes. Life Sciences Hub Wales is proud to have supported QuicDNA and beyond delighted that this has been recognised by the Advancing Healthcare Awards Wales.”
To stay up to date with the QuicDNA project please visit Life Sciences Hub Wales’ project page.