At LifeArc, we drive medical innovation through our own research and our work with a range of partners from industry, charities, universities, research organisations and others involved in improving lives for patients.
We have a 25-year legacy of collaborating with scientists on diagnostics and therapies, enhancing and protecting innovation and advancing promising research.
We focus on translation – progressing work from early lab-based findings through to development and a point where it can be used in patients. And by working in this way, we play a key role in developing new treatments, medicines, diagnostics, technologies or information resources, and in helping to turn research into practical products that benefit patients.
A registered charity
As a UK registered and self-funding charity, we focus on improving the lives of patients. We need to be sustainable, but we do not have shareholders so we can reinvest any income we generate into furthering medical research.
Our trustees have extensive expertise in biomedical sciences, biotech and pharma industry, finance, law and medicine.
With dedicated laboratories in Stevenage and Edinburgh, we conduct our own translational research as needed to accelerate the progress of discoveries and technologies to find treatments for diseases such as cancer and dementia.
Bringing diagnostics and medicines to market
Since launching in the 1990s as MRC Technology, our expertise has helped bring a number of new innovations to market. Through our knowledge and proprietary antibody humanisation technique, we have contributed to four humanised antibody drugs to the market:
- Tysabri® (natalizumab), humanised by us on behalf of Elan/Biogen Idec, a monoclonal antibody treatment for multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease
- Actemra® (tocilizumab) for Roche, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, available in over 90 countries
- Entyvio®(vedolizumab), a monoclonal antibody marketed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), an immunotherapy drug licensed as a treatment for a number of cancers including melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and classical Hodgkin lymphoma
Our expertise in diagnostics has also enabled us to develop the Carbaplex assay, a rapid diagnostic test for the detection of carbapenem resistance, in collaboration with Renishaw Diagnostics Ltd.
Funding for academics and researchers
Thanks to royalty payments from the sales of licensed drugs, we have the ability to fund collaborations and science projects directly to support the early translation of biomedical innovations.
Two funds help us to progress early-stage science for the benefit of patients. A Philanthropic Fund provides grants for rare disease science, irrespective of commercial viability, while our Seed Fund is aimed at developing new therapeutics and biological modalities.
Working with others
We leverage our wider network, as well as our new biomedical hubs in Stevenage and Edinburgh, to bring the best people together.
LifeArc works closely with a range of partners, including global pharmaceutical companies, patient groups and other funders. In doing so we explore new operational models, each with the potential to progress technologies for unmet medical needs further towards the patients who need them.
Our academic collaborations focus on specific disease targets. These are global in nature, working with UK-based academics as well as those in in the US, Germany and China. We continue to seek out exciting, novel science from academics across the globe. We are prioritising projects with a focus on infections, immune oncology and neuroscience, particularly in pain.
Drug discovery partnerships
We have a number of active collaborations in which we aim to provide opportunities to access additional resources and capabilities and bring more solutions to more patients more quickly. For example, we are collaborating with key partners to identify and target a range of novel antimicrobial targets.
Drug discovery projects
Researchers in our Centre for Therapeutics Discovery work on projects covering a wide range of indications including cancer, pain, neurodegeneration, bacterial infection, osteoporosis and diabetes.
We provide our expertise to help drive the development of promising science towards patient benefit. Our expert teams of business managers and IP specialists help progress and protect work, as well as evaluate the translational potential of research portfolios and advise on funding and routes to market.