London, UK, 12 August 2013: MRC Technology, a technology transfer organisation and Parkinson’s UK, a support and research charity, today announced a joint ‘call for targets’. The call aims to identify and fund either one or two projects focused on potential small molecule or antibody targets to slow, stop or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s. The call to academic researchers seeks to fund target validation and proof of concept studies prior to initiating a full scale drug discovery project.
The joint action draws on MRC Technology’s expertise in translating novel, promising biology into lead stage therapeutics, and the management of associated intellectual property, combined with the experience Parkinson’s UK has in supporting academic research into Parkinson’s for better understanding of the condition and development of new treatments.
Parkinson’s UK will fund selected projects with expected awards of up to £150,000 over two years. Upon completion, projects will be evaluated for progression into MRC Technology’s Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (CTD) to generate small molecules or therapeutic antibodies against the targets.
Mike Johnson, Director of Corporate Partnerships at MRC Technology, said “The joint call builds on our existing partnership with Parkinson’s UK, and will enable us to access novel Parkinson’s targets as a critical step toward finding new treatments. We are very pleased to be part of the journey, bringing MRC Technology scientists and academia together to develop lead stage targets and make them ready for future partnering with industry.”
Dr Kieran Breen, director of research and innovation at Parkinson’s UK, comments: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with MRC Technology to take our research to the next level.
“Our cutting-edge research is unearthing genuinely promising new ideas for treatments that can slow or even stop the progress of Parkinson’s – something no current drug can do.
“But now we face the huge challenge of moving these breakthroughs forward to become the treatments of tomorrow.
“MRC Technology really are the specialists in this area and their expertise will be crucial for us to bring new therapies to people with Parkinson’s as speedily and efficiently as possible.”
Supporting technology transfer and PI management efforts, MRC Technology set up its drug discovery laboratories in order to bridge the gap between innovative, early stage academic research and the development of intellectual property suitable for licensing to industry for further development and commercialisation. De-risking novel targets by providing proof of concept and pharma-quality data packages fulfills a clear need in the drug discovery process. The collaboration opens the MRC Technology laboratories up to a new source of targets from the Parkinson’s research field.