GE Healthcare Life Sciences joins SBC's neurodegenerative disease challenge

Expansion of relationship with SBC furthers GE's commitment to open innovation in healthcare

Chalfont St. Giles & Stevenage, UK, December 15 2014 -   GE Healthcare Life Sciences is expanding its relationship with Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, by supporting SBC’s open innovation challenge in neurodegenerative disease.  The link-up, which reflects GE Healthcare’s drive to advance research in the diagnosis of neurological disorders, builds on its presence at SBC, where the company opened a Technology Laboratory in October 2013.  Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by neurodegenerative disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and SBC’s open innovation challenge was established to help address this growing global problem.

The open innovation challenge, which will stimulate interaction between academics, industry and charities, was launched in May 2014 by SBC, Manchester Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology (MIMIT)1  and six leading Academic Health Science Centre Technology Transfer Organizations2.  Proposals from academic teams for research in two fields - biomarkers for diagnosis and patient stratification, and inflammation/neurodegeneration - will be reviewed by a panel of industry, public sector and research charity experts including sponsors such as GE Healthcare Life Sciences.  Selected projects will be announced at the beginning of 2015.

Joining the challenge supports GE Healthcare’s MIND (Make an Impact on Neurological Disorders) initiative, which is dedicated to improving the prediction, detection and diagnosis of neurological disorders.

Ger Brophy, Chief Technology Officer of GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said, “We are excited to be joining the SBC Open Innovation Challenge.  We strongly believe that collaboration between industry and academia is the way to drive innovation, and this SBC initiative supports our goal of finding new, better ways for physicians to detect and diagnose these most difficult of diseases.”

Martino Picardo, CEO of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said, “We are delighted to welcome GE Healthcare Life Sciences to our neurodegenerative diseases challenge.  Broadening the scope of organisations associated with this initiative increases the range of expertise available to the academic researchers and everyone else involved - a real case of open innovation in action.  The link-up also strengthens our productive relationship with GE.”

Make an Impact on Neurological Disorders (MIND)
Between 2010 and 2020, GE Healthcare plans to invest over $500 million in research into neurological disorders.  The investment crosses all lines of GE Healthcare's global business and focuses on developing new neurology diagnostic solutions, educating consumers, and expanding research already in progress.  Target areas include diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, concussion and traumatic brain injury.  For decades, GE Healthcare has produced diagnostics scanners, imaging agents and software to help physicians see more clearly inside the brain and aid better patient management.  In 2013, a $60 million investment with National Football League to develop new MR technology for traumatic brain injury was announced, including a $20 million Global Challenge to advance diagnosis and prognosis of mild TBI.

About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world.  GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges.  From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.  For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at

About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, pioneering a unique culture to drive early stage bioscience technology and company development, and building a thriving community.  It is backed by £38m of funding from its founding partners – GlaxoSmithKline, the Wellcome Trust, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Technology Strategy Board and the former East of England Development Agency.  Consisting of an Incubator, an Accelerator and a Hub, covering 60,000 sq ft of laboratory, office and networking space, the independent facility houses a range of companies, from virtual and start-up firms to those which are more established, as well as other organisations.  Co-located with GlaxoSmithKline on the Stevenage campus, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is in the unique position of operating in proximity to the expertise and resources of a major pharmaceutical company, close to both London and Cambridge.  For more information, please go to


1  Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and MIMIT launch Open Innovation Challenge in Neurodegenerative Disease

2 AHSC Technology Transfer Organisations involved: Cambridge Enterprise, Imperial Innovations, King’s Business, UCL Business, University of Manchester Intellectual Property, and Isis Innovations (Oxford University)