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Cambridge MedChem Consulting

MRC opens drug discovery funding applications

The Medical Research Council (MRC) recently announced that it will provide funding for up to ten high throughput screening (HTS) projects a year to run within the AstraZeneca UK Centre for Lead Discovery. The centre is home to NiCoLa-B, the world’s the world's most advanced drug discovery robot. NiCoLa-B can test up to 300,000 compounds a day

Closing date is 27 Sept 2017

Further information on the collaboration with AstraZeneca

Wellcome Trust Innovation for Impact

I know many groups in the UK have projects funded under Wellcome Trust (WT) "Seeding Drug Discovery" funding program, this program has been running successfully for many years but it was recently announced that there was to be a review of the WT funding activities. The results of the review are now available on the website

Key points are:-

In February 2017 Wellcome will be launching ‘Innovator Awards’ for proposals of up to £500k. One of the aims of this scheme will be to encourage people that do not currently work with us to apply - including translators and innovators from outside of the life and medical science community. We think this is important because new technology has the potential to transform biomedical science, as well as have significant applications to health.

We believe that in order to achieve greater impact on human health - we also need to focus on a smaller number of activities - something that we refer to as Flagships. An example of an existing Flagship is the Hilleman Laboratories – an R&D facility in New Delhi, dedicated to generating new vaccines. This is a joint venture between Wellcome and Merck, USA. We also consider our recently announced Wellcome Centres at Kings College, Dundee University and UCL as Flagships.

We will remain open to great ideas in any area. In our first year much of our support will focus on ideas and solutions involving mental health, neurological disorders and neglected tropical diseases, but these are not exclusive and other areas of particular interest will be announced in the future.

I have to say I delighted to see the focus on mental health and neglected tropical diseases, areas which I've tried to support.

Unlocking Finance for Drug Discovery

This looks like an interesting meeting for those looking for funding drug discovery

This event is aimed at early and mid-career scientists who are looking to learn more about funding early stage drug discovery or how to attract follow-on investment. A panel of experts, representing several investors from the industry and charities will share their experience and engage in a discussion on the future of drug discovery landscape. Find out about what propels a drug discovery project to secure funding and investment

Location: Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute Lecture Theatre, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Li Ka Shing Centre, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0RE
Date:21 April 2016

Medicines for Malaria Venture 14th call for proposals

MMV have just announced a call for proposals in the following three areas:

  1. Compounds addressing the key priorities of the malaria eradication agenda. Novel families of molecules in the hit-to-lead or lead optimization stages are sought without G6PD deficiency liabilities that either kill or reactivate hypnozoites for use as part of a P. vivax radical cure; or have dual activity against asexual and sexual stages (gametocytes) for treatment and transmission blocking.

  2. Asexual liver and blood stages. Novel chemical series with EC50<500nM and which have one or more of the following key features: A novel mechanism of action A long half-life (ideally >4h in rodents) and confirmed in vivo efficacy. For advanced series, we are seeking novel compounds with, ideally, a predicted human half-life >100h and a predicted single human dose <500mg or three day human dose of <50 mg.

  3. Novel approaches for screening. To help identify new phenotypic and/ or target based hits, as well as confirm activity of MMV compounds on all human malaria asexual blood stages, new screening proposals are sought.

They have also published Target product profiles & target candidate profiles.

Grant Funding Research

I've just updated the page listing possible sources of grant funding for drug discovery research. In particular I've extended the listing of disease specific resources, these may be particularly useful for rare or neglected diseases.