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UCB and MRC join forces on novel antibody discovery platform

Will provide UK scientists with access to up-to-date technologies

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UCB and the Medical Research Council (MRC) are to launch a collaboration to provide UK scientists with access to technologies to aid the discovery of new monoclonal antibodies.

As part of the joint initiative, MRC and UCB scientists will work together to access and apply the company's novel high-throughput antibody screening capabilities to support research.

By using UCB's technology platform, MRC-funded scientists will be able to efficiently sample the immune repertoire with potential of assessing over a billion antibody-producing B-cells.

Discussing the collaboration, Ismail Kola, executive VP of UCB and president of new medicines, said: “The UCB technology platform access programme offers the chance for researchers to access our state-of-the-art technology and scientific networks to deliver innovative new medicines. 

“This joint initiative with the MRC is a world-leading collaborative interface between academia and industry to enhance the pace of new drug discovery and improve patient outcomes.”

The joint initiative is expected to run for three years, with up to five projects per year being selected for support by UCB and the MRC. UK-based academics will be able to submit research proposals to the MRC later this year for independent assessment.

Dr Chris Watkins, director of translational research and industry at the MRC, said: “This exciting new partnership with UCB will bring together some of the best UK scientists with UK-based industry to drive forward the quest to discover new treatments. Through access to cutting edge technologies such as these, the UK research community can build on its strengths to accelerate research that will bring benefit to patients.”

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

1st April 2015

From: Research

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