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‘Call for targets’ for serious unmet need

A centre created by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and MRC Technology to fast-track the discovery and development of novel drugs opened its first call for targets recently.

The London-based MRC Technology (MRCT) Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD) is seeking small-molecule drug discovery and therapeutic antibody targets from academic researchers.

The CTD would like to collaborate with scientists in all universities to develop drug discovery projects targeting diseases for which there is substantial unmet need. The centre will apply state-of-the-art computational and medicinal chemistry to produce ‘drug-like’ molecules with the potential to become therapies. It will also focus on developing novel antibody therapies.

Scientists from academia will benefit from the provision of tool compounds and reagents (including monoclonal antibodies) for further target validation and characterization studies, in silico screening, and access to medicinal chemistry, screening technologies and ADMET. CTD will also provide academia with access to its hybridoma production capability and its antibody engineering and expression expertise, as well as its core antibody humanization skills.

This initiative will also enable UK scientists to tap into MRC’s recently announced Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme and collaborate with a drug discovery capability while retaining existing IP ownership.

Dr David Tapolczay, MRCT’s CEO, explained: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for academics to have a dedicated centre with which to collaborate and progress their science to deliver tangible clinical benefit. In so doing, this initiative will help the UK to retain its world-leading reputation for innovation in drug discovery.’

Researchers are asked to visit the call for targets website to request a submission application form for their targets. Capacity for stage one on the programme is limited, so researchers are encouraged to submit their targets as soon as possible.

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Companies and People  •  Target Identification/ Validation


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