× Medicines Discovery Catapult

About us

We are a national facility for collaborative R&D exploring and developing new approaches to the discovery and proof of well targeted medicines, diagnostics and biomarkers.

Our strategic initiatives link the industry with national stakeholders to provide new foundation processes and our collaborative projects with industry and academia lay stepping stones towards proven new techniques and technologies.

As our name implies we are a store of energy and resources that the sector can use to break down barriers and to propel prototypes and products towards commercialisation.

Funded by Innovate UK, an agency of the UK government, we are an independent not-for-profit company bringing together a fragmented UK sector of industry, academia, charities, technologists, services, finance companies, SMEs and start-ups who together can turn good science into new, high value products. By sharing problems, rare expertise and assets we support the growth of this new community through a time of radical business and national change.

We are also working with research charities through new joined up consortia called Syndicates. Syndicates will engage patient groups with industrialists and academics to bring the highest value, targeted treatments to a successful proof of principal in redesigned clinical trials.

Re-imagining the future

The traditional model of developing medicines is no longer fit for purpose – it’s been estimated that to take a new drug to a patient takes on average 13.5 years at an average cost of over £1.2 billion. The challenge is to do this more cheaply and quickly without compromising patient safety.

Our leadership team and Board have the experience, as well as the skills and determination, to bring about this transformative change. We are a catalyst for disruptive and systemic change in the sector, as well as supporting the evolution of the industry due to global, regional and national changes in how this discovery is done.

How we work: disruptive + collaborative + ambitious

As an active source of expertise with science, informatics and collaborative project work at our heart, our teams will be working on high to medium risk R&D projects that prove approaches that the sector cannot do today or need to try.

Our position as an impartial not-for-profit organisation means we are uniquely placed to bring groups together from the private, public, academic and charitable sectors. We are able to offer these groups the facilities, expertise and tools to support innovation and change that will ultimately make a real difference to the lives of patients.


Our approach to rethinking medicines discovery, engaging patients and understanding their needs is to build collaborative disease-based consortia known as ‘Syndicates’. New models like this put the patient at the beginning of discovery. They also provide extra robustness and variety to the environment.


Our partners are drawn from

  • UK biotech
  • Global pharmaceutical companies
  • UK service sector
  • Academia
  • Medical research charities
  • Global technologists