Rethinking ‘academic’ drug discovery: the Manchester Institute perspective

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Academic and charitable drug discovery enterprises face common challenges, such as hit finding and target identification. Here, we describe our own creative solutions to these issues.

The contraction in research within pharma has seen a renaissance in drug

discovery within the academic setting. Often, groups grow organically
from academic research laboratories, exploiting a particular area of novel
biology or new technology. However, increasingly, new groups driven by
industrial staff are emerging with demonstrable expertise in the delivery of
medicines. As part of a strategic review by Cancer Research UK (CR-UK), the
drug discovery team at the Manchester Institute was established to translate novel research from the Manchester cancer research community into drug discovery programmes. From a standing start, we have taken innovative approaches to solve key issues faced by similar groups, such as hit finding and target identification. Herein, we share our lessons learnt and successful strategies.

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