Exeter University and Medicines Discovery Catapult collaborate on R&D drive

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The collaboration will focus on identifying promising innovations that can be adopted through the industry in the ultimate hope of benefitting patients. The collaboration will combine the world-class research at the University of Exeter with MDC’s industry skills, discovery platforms, data technologies, and access to its international networks.

To discover new medicines, high quality research must be translated into new drug candidates or technologies through an industrial process of refinement and structured experimentation. The University of Exeter and MDC hope that sharing skills across academia and industry can help translation be improved throughout UK institutions.

The partner will focus on a number of areas including:

· Identifying research that can be supported at its earliest stages.
· Developing identified innovation into an independently validated proposition, allowing investors and pharmaceutical partners to join projects with confidence.
· Embedding industry standard drug discovery thinking and knowledge at the point of ideation, creating better medicines of the future.· Identifying and developing new mechanisms to sustain the development of these medicines, through novel funding mechanisms and partnerships.

Professor Neil Gow FRS, deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Impact) of the University of Exeter, said: “This exciting partnership offers much for both parties. It will enable our researchers to take their novel ideas beyond the stage where academic inspiration transitions into translational applications. For Medicines Discovery Catapult, we hope this will deepen the well of creative ideas that their expertise can support.

“I look forward to seeing both partners achieve their goals – making a difference and enabling us to translate research well beyond the lab, into real-world impact. This pioneering partnership will create a blueprint for accelerating innovation, enabling our research to have meaningful benefits on people’s health and wellbeing.”

Professor Chris Molloy, chief executive officer at Medicines Discovery Catapult added: “This partnership is the realisation of a faster route for innovative research to reach the clinic. It is also a paradigm for how universities and industrial translators can each do what they are best at, and maximise national impact – now and into the future.

“This shared-skills, co-operative approach tackles a deep structural issue head on and ensures the best ideas see the light of day at pace and scale for the benefit of patients and the UK economy.

“Access to our skills, technology and networks at a critical stage of medicines discovery means we and the University of Exeter can develop future medicines as well as future wealth creating academic translators.”