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New research partnership focused on drug discovery

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    UCB has joined MRC Technology and the University of Leicester to form a research consortium to aid the discovery of new medicines that address patients’ unmet clinical needs.

    The consortium will use antibodies – large proteins that our immune systems use to fight infections – to open up new avenues for small molecule drug discovery.

    It’s a complex area of scientific research but by combining the experience of UCB and MRCT in antibody technologies with the University of Leicester’s expertise, we are optimistic about identifying exciting unexplored opportunities. This could make a real difference to the lives of patients with severe diseases. The consortium’s projects will be supported by scientists working at all three institutions collaboratively.

    Inspired by patients, driven by science
    At UCB, we are inspired by patients, driven by science. This is the spirit we carry with us throughout our work. This new consortium will develop new scientific knowledge and seek to apply this to the discovery of new drugs that patients need.

    UCB has a track record of using antibodies to treat autoimmune disease – but we are always pushing the boundaries of medical science. The approach to research that this consortium will take aims to use these large proteins to open a new gateway to identify small molecules that could one day be used as medicines.

    This is the cutting-edge of medical research. ‘Antibody-assisted drug discovery’ is a relatively new field which builds on world-leading complementary research expertise in the UK, covering all aspects of monoclonal antibody production, structural biology and fragment screening.

    Combining the expertise of these three leading institutions could lead to a step change in knowledge-based drug discovery and highlights the benefits of a public-private sector partnership approach to future drug discovery.

    This is a hugely exciting new venture which we hope will deliver new science and new medicines in the years ahead.

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