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Catapult open for business to support UK drug discovery

The Medicines Discovery Catapult was set up by Innovate UK as part of the UK's industrial strategy to support and enable commercial drug discovery in the UK. Today, Wednesday 29 March, it was announced that the Catapult has invested £1m into cutting-edge lab capacity. Chris Molloy, Chief Executive at the Medicine Discovery Catapult tells us how this investment will benefit the drug discovery community. 

I am five months into my job as Chief Executive of the Medicines Discovery Catapult and I am delighted to be able to say we are now well and truly open for business to support and promote innovative, fast-to-patient drug discovery in the UK.

Today is the first step in our journey to ensure the future competitiveness and growth of UK industry in this vital sector with the opening of a brand new facility.

We’ve teamed up with Warwick University to invest £1m in new cutting-edge lab equipment, including a UK first in new ‘solid-state NMR’, staffed by adept MDC  people – and to make it available to small and medium-sized British business and academic teams across the UK.

I describe it as a “waterhole” which serves the UK’s drug discovery community in two ways. First, it provides capability that many drug discovery companies simply have not had access to until now.

And, second, it enables us to foster and facilitate collaboration between companies and academics to help move great ideas into realistic commercial opportunities for the benefit of the health and wealth of the UK.

Collaboration is the key to future drug discovery. The landscape is changing rapidly and the old way of doing things is no longer fit for purpose.

By bringing together industry, academic researchers and, crucially, patient groups and their medical research charities, the Catapult can help pool expertise and assets, and help solve collective problems and barriers none can overcome alone.

We are already engaged with a number of companies and organisations to support collaboration in key areas including anti-microbial resistance, inflammation and neurological conditions.

And, as we continue to develop our own capacity, so we are keen to engage with more interested partners who would benefit from our support.

Our door is always open to the UK’s drug discovery community to explore how we can support and promote their vital work. So, do get in touch. We are up and running and ready to work with you!

If you'd like to learn more about the MDC and how you can work with them register to our free 'Introduction to Medicines Discovery Catapult' webinar.