Landmark research from the Medical Research Council (MRC) has discovered that antibodies can fight viruses from within infected cells. This finding transforms the previous scientific understanding of our immunity to viral diseases like the common cold, 'winter vomiting' and gastroenteritis. It also gives scientists a different set of rules that pave the way to the next generation of antiviral drugs.
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Researchers funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) have developed a new method of joining and rebuilding molecules in the laboratory and have used it to refine Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type A (more commonly known as botox). This new approach will enable researchers to improve its use as a treatment for diseases such as Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy and chronic migraine. It also opens up new avenues to develop new forms of the toxin which could be used as a method of long-term pain relief.
BAN2401, the antibody by MRC Technology humanized for Swedish biopharmaceutical company BioArctic Neuroscience AB (Stockholm), has entered clinical trials to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The antibody is licensed by BioArctic Neuroscience AB to Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) who is conducting the trials.
The MRC People Exchange Programme aims to stimulate collaborative research across industry and academia, develop skills and transfer knowledge. It is one of several new schemes designed with MRC’s industry partners to deliver identifiable translational research outcomes and build long term industry-academic partnerships.
Genentech, Inc.has entered into an exclusive licence to a series of small molecule drug candidates for the potential treatment of neurological disease. This is the first small molecule chemistry programme to come out of MRC Technology’s Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD) and the first major small molecule collaboration the CTD has formed with an industry partner.
Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and MRCT will ‘swap’ medical discoveries to accelerate the translation of early scientific research into patient benefit. CRT and MRCT can offer each other rights to manage, develop and license discoveries from research funded by parent charity Cancer Research UK and the government’s Medical Research Council. The arrangement will explore ways to make the most of each organisation’s expertise and speed up the licensing of potential products for patient benefit.
AstraZeneca and MRC Technology form strategic alliance in discovery research, utilising shared compound libraries
The companies will combine up to 100,000 compounds from AstraZeneca’s collection with the MRC Technology compound library of approximately 50,000 compounds. MRC Technology will screen this larger combined library searching for compounds that show activity against novel biological targets. A joint steering committee will review these hits, and decide how to advance promising compounds that could become innovative medicines.
Mike Dalrymple, Director at MRC Technology, has written an article for The Innovation Handbook about adding value…
MRCT translates cutting edge scientific discoveries into commercial products, two of which (Tysabri and Actemra) are already on the market. The MRCT Centre for Therapeutics Discovery works closely with the MRCT Intellectual Property and Business Development Division and is rigorous in the selection of well‐defined and characterised targets, and considers novelty, validation and ‘druggability’. In addition, the group works on targets where there is a clear strategy for progression and development.