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MRC to work with charity on Parkinson’s projects

£150,000 fund for joint ‘call for targets’

MRC Technology Parkinson's UK

A joint initiative between technology transfer experts MRC Technology and charity Parkinson's UK is offering £150,000 over two years to a project – or two projects – focusing on potential small molecule or antibody targets to slow, stop or reverse the progression of Parkinson's.

The funding has been provided by Parkinson's UK, while MRC Technology will evaluate the completed projects for progression into its Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (CTD) to generate small molecules or therapeutic antibodies against the targets.

Developing an effective treatment for Parkinson's has proved particularly challenging for researchers, and a number of trials have failed recently, making this call for targets even more important.

It aims to nudge the process of finding a cure a step further by bringing together academics with experts who can help add commercial value to their findings.

According to Dr Kieran Breen, director of research and innovation at Parkinson's UK, the collaboration will take his organisation's research to the next level.

“Our cutting-edge research is unearthing genuinely promising new ideas for treatments that can slow or even stop the progress of Parkinson's, but now we face the huge challenge of moving these breakthroughs forward to become the treatments of tomorrow,” he said.

“MRC Technology really are the specialists in this area and their expertise will be crucial for us to bring new therapies to people with Parkinson's as speedily and efficiently as possible.”

Mike Johnson, director of corporate partnerships at MRC Technology, also shared his enthusiasm for the project.

“We are very pleased to be part of the journey, bringing MRC Technology scientists and academia together to develop lead stage targets and make them ready for future partnering with industry”, he said.

The project is aimed at UK-based academics – those interested should visit: callfortargets.org/parkinsons

19th August 2013

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