× Medicines Discovery Catapult

We are a national facility connecting the UK community to accelerate innovative drug discovery.

Funded by Innovate UK, an agency of the UK government, we are an independent not-for-profit company. We bring together a fragmented sector of industry, academia, charities, technologists, services, finance companies, SMEs and start-ups. Together we turn good science into new, high-value products and services that are used to improve productivity across the sector.

Our office and laboratories are based at Alderley Park in Cheshire, providing access to the UK’s second largest life sciences cluster. Moreover, health research in the North West is uniquely joined up: Greater Manchester is the only region in the country with control over its budget for health and health research. Thus, we offer SMEs from across the UK unrivalled opportunities and support for their research.

What we do

We provide unique scientific capabilities and act as a national gateway to specialist facilities, technology and expertise within the UK, supporting SMEs to drive the development and widespread use of new approaches for the discovery and early development of new medicines.

We validate new ways of discovering medicines, and provide and support key talent and expertise across the sector. This will help the UK maintain its heritage position as a global leader in this key industry.

We’re addressing the “somebody really needs to…” challenges in UK drug discovery…

Medicines Discovery Catapult - What we do wheel

Re-imagining the future

The traditional model of developing medicines is no longer fit for purpose – it has been estimated that to take a new drug to a patient takes on average 13.5 years at a typical cost of over £1.2 billion. SMEs and service companies are increasingly important for innovation, discovery and validation of new drugs and technologies.

The challenge is to do this faster and cheaper without compromising patient safety, by proving and applying, new scientific systems, uses of data and methods of working.

We’re developing tools and techniques to turn this (the traditional drug discovery model):

Illustration of the traditional drug discovery model

Into this, with patients and data at the beginning and all the way through the process:

Illustration of new drug discovery model