Project focused on potential small molecule or antibody targets in pathways important in the development or progression of respiratory disease

London, UK, 02 March 2015: MRC Technology, an independent life science research charity, today announced a ‘call for targets’ to find new therapeutic concepts for treatment of respiratory disease. The worldwide call to academic researchers offers the opportunity to collaborate with MRC Technology’s Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (CTD) on target validation and proof of concept prior to initiating a full scale drug discovery project. Interested researchers are asked to visit www.callfortargets.org/respiratory.

Through this call MRC Technology aims to identify and accelerate projects focused on validation of potential small molecule or antibody targets, in pathways important in the development or progression of respiratory conditions. Respiratory conditions such as allergy, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, and cystic fibrosis currently affect an estimated 12 million people living in the UK.

The call draws on MRC Technology’s expertise in translating novel, promising biology into lead stage therapeutics. Successful projects will benefit from CTD’s wealth of experience in assay development, high throughput screening (HTS), medicinal chemistry, antibody engineering and affinity maturation. CTD will also provide academic researchers with access to an in-house small molecule library as well as its core antibody humanisation skills.

Justin Bryans, Director of Drug Discovery at MRC Technology, said “MRC Technology’s model is based on sharing both the risks and the rewards of drug discovery with its partners. Finding treatments for respiratory disease is a clear area of unmet need, with COPD being the fifth biggest killer disease in the UK. This latest call for respiratory targets is strongly aligned to our charitable aim of advancing scientific discoveries that can improve human health.”

MRC Technology set up its CTD laboratories to support its technology transfer and IP management efforts, 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 fulfils a clear need in the drug discovery process.