Coventry University’s Professor Helen Maddock receives Women in Innovation Award for her contribution to the pharmaceutical industry

Monday 08 March 2021

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Professor Helen Maddock, Director of the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences at Coventry University, has been recognised in this year’s Innovate UK - Women in Innovation Awards for her use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the pharmaceutical industry.

The national award recognises visionary British female entrepreneurs who drive forward their novel innovations and business ideas.

Helen founded InoCardia, a Coventry University spin-out company, to improve cardiovascular drug development, helping make drugs safer, minimising patient side effects and reducing the huge costs typically associated with pharmaceutical development.

InoCardia is a result of Helen’s passion and dedication to improving all aspects of the product life cycle in relation to early drug discovery. 

As a recipient of the award, Professor Maddock will receive a £50,000 grant, which will be used to expand InoCardia’s current offering. The funding will look to diversify InoCardia’s current artificial intelligence product by enhancing early stage drug screening by enabling researchers to screen novel compounds and engineer out toxicology liabilities.

“I see the Women in Innovation Award as an important supportive route to gain necessary skills to progress to CEO in the future. I think support via this award will not only help give me more confidence in my abilities as a leader and tech innovator but also help raise the company's profile.

I don't think of myself as a female scientist, innovator, founder or a woman in tech. I am just passionate about what I do and truly believe the world is your oyster.

Professor Helen Maddock

InoCardia has already proven its value during the COVID-19 pandemic as it received funding to test side-effects of COVID-19 treatments on the heart.

About CSELS: Research within the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences combines expertise across sport, exercise and biological associated sciences to understand life at a molecular level through to the whole body. Key areas of interest include physiology, physical activity, sport performance, nutrition, cell biology, genomic and molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry and safety pharmacology.

About InoCardia: InoCardia is a Coventry University spin-out company established in 2013 committed to enhancing drug development by improving the pharmaceutical industry’s understanding of how drugs affect the heart. Data is collected using innovative methods such as the ‘work-loop technique’, which mimics the forces that are required to fill the heart with blood in order for it to be pumped around the body. This has been successfully used to test drugs in a controlled environment and identify both negative and positive side effects on the heart.