Bicycle Therapeutics is new MRC spinout

The spin out is a new biotechnology company developing a novel technology platform for the creation of a new generation of biotherapeutics, has secured seed funding from Atlas Venture and Novartis Venture Fund. Bicycle Therapeutics combines the most desirable features of small molecules and biologics, to create highly specific and highly stable drugs.

DiscoveRX GSK and MRCT collaborate to deorphanise GPCRs

The three way alliance aims to seek out natural substances that bind to G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Through the identification of the natural ligand for these receptors it is anticipated that this work will identify and validate new drug targets that could ultimately help develop new therapies, as compounds that modulate GPCRs are already the basis of many licensed medicines.

Centre for Therapeutics Discovery

A major centre to fast-track the discovery and development of novel drugs will be created by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and MRC Technology (MRCT).

Heptares secures funding

Heptares has raised GBP21 million (US$30 million) of equity finance in a successful Series A private round from three blue-chip international venture capital firms. Clarus Ventures led the syndicate, which includes the founding investor, MVM Life Science Partners, and the Novartis Option Fund. All three investors contributed equally.

UK Drug Discovery Consortium symposium

‘Imperial College London‘, ‘Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research’, ‘ Drug Discovery Unit, University of Dundee’, ‘Cancer Research Technology (CRT)’, ‘MRC Technology’ and the ‘Wellcome Trust’, members of the new UK Drug Discovery Consortium, have announced their first symposium “21st Century Drug Discovery – a new approach” on March 11th, 2009 in central London.

MRCT licence rights to develop potential novel immunotherapy

Centocor Ortho Biotech have signed agreements for the development of a novel immunotherapy targeting respiratory disease. The potential therapy was identified and characterised at the world famous MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology as part of a basic research programme. This research was quickly identified as having therapeutic potential. Further work was performed by MRCT’s Drug Discovery Group in a prime example of translational research.

MRCT and Biolex Therapeutics complete successful collaborations

MRCT has successfully completed the humanization of a novel antibody targeting CD20, indicated in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Biolex is applying its proprietary glycosylation optimization technology to the antibody, BLX-301, to enhance efficacy and potency of the product candidate and potentially reduce certain side effects.

Intellect Neurosciences and MRCT reach antibody milestone

The milestone is an important stage in the collaborative efforts to humanize Intellect’s lead antibody IN-N01 necessary for creating a therapeutic antibody for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The antibody is intended to be used to promote clearance from the brain of the toxin that leads to Alzheimer’s disease, beta amyloid. IN-N01 is Intellect’s first drug candidate based on the technology invented by Dr. Daniel Chain, Intellect Neuroscience’s Chairman and CEO.

Development Gap Fund extended

The MRC has approved a further £6 million of funding for a continuation of the MRCT Development Gap Fund (DGF). DGF is an innovative and successful pre-seed fund established to help exploit the cutting edge science of the MRC which could have a significant impact on the health as well as the competiveness and growth of the UK economy.