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Cardiologist using digital x-ray of human heart holographic scan projection

InoCardia: Delivering Improved Cardiac Safety Liabilities for Therapeutic Drugs Using the Contractome-AI


Innovate UK
Women in Innovation

Total value of project


Project team

Professor Helen Maddock


InoCardia Ltd

Duration of project

March 2021 - February 2022

Innovate UK logo

Project overview

"As the founder of InoCardia Ltd, I have applied 30 years' experience aligned to the pharmaceutical industry to commercialise the cardiac Work-Loop contractility platform as a spin-out company from Coventry University in 2013. The commercialisation of my academic research started with a vision that there was a fundamental need within the Pharmaceutical Industry for the development of improved physiological relevant model to assess cardiac contractility. These discussions underpinned academic research projects leading to the development of the novel tissue/cell-based Work-Loop Platform that opened-up new pathways to safer drug development. The Work-Loop Platform was commercialised through the formation of the spin-out company InoCardia Ltd, focussing on providing a cardiac drug safety assessment service. Customers have included global pharmaceutical companies and drug discovery biotechs.

The company has generated UK and EU investment funding from external funding bodies (i.e InnovateUK) and venture capitalists. The company currently offers the world's first nonclinical contractility assay which offers superior predictivity and is currently revolutionising the field of cardiac safety assessment. There is a lot to learn to translate an academic research idea into a robust commercial offering, in addition to accessing external funding, protecting intellectual property, getting buy-in from stakeholders, learning the language of business and understanding market requirements and dynamics.

The notion of being a role model not only to my two children but also students in Schools and at University is extremely important to me. I truly believe that the "world should be your oyster". I am passionate about Business/Research inspired teaching and currently teach "How to form a spin out company", on BSc/MSc programmes. I see this award as an opportunity to enable me to inspire female scientists towards business innovation. Although I am the founder and current CSO for InoCardia, I stepped down from being InoCardia's CEO 3 years ago as I didn't feel that I had the confidence or adequate business experience to be CEO for my company. I see the Women in Innovation award 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 helped raise the company's profile. It will enable me to promote InoCardia's vision within the Pharmaceutical Industry and provide me with the access to a network of business support, networking events and attract further investment."

Professor Helen Maddock

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023