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MRC and MRCT open 'call for targets'

The Medical Research Council and MRC Technology have announced the first 'call for targets' for a major new drug development centre

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and MRC Technology (MRCT) have announced the first 'call for targets' for a major new centre developing drugs in areas of serious unmet need.

The London-based MRCT Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD) is seeking small molecule drug discovery and therapeutic antibody targets from academic researchers, with a view to collaborating with scientists in developing drug discovery projects.

On the official website for the project the MRCT say: "No matter what stage your research is at please submit your target for consideration in stage 1 of our small molecule drug discovery programme. Successful applicants will benefit from MRC Technology's Centre for Therapeutics Discovery resources and expertise."

These 'resources and expertise' include strong links to the pharmaceutical industry and potential access to funding, with the MRCT the exclusive commercialisation agent for the MRC, focusing on turning scientific discoveries into commercial products.

The CTD will look to embrace technology and cutting-edge research methods, applying state of the art computational and medicinal chemistry to produce 'drug-like' molecules with the potential to become therapies.

It will also focus on developing further novel antibody therapies, with two marketed therapeutic antibodies already on the market.

Speaking on the call for scientists and researchers to get involved, CEO of the MRCT, Dr David Tapolczay, explained: "This is a fantastic opportunity for academics to have a dedicated centre with which to collaborate and progress their science to deliver tangible clinical benefit. In so doing, this initiative will help the UK to retain its world-leading reputation for innovation in drug discovery."

Researchers are asked to visit the Call For Targets website to request a submission application form for their targets. Capacity for stage 1 on the programme is limited, so researchers are encouraged to submit their targets as soon as possible.

4th February 2010

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