About Us

Medicines Discovery Catapult is an independent, not-for-profit drug discovery innovation centre.

We reshape drug discovery by transforming the best of UK science into better treatments for patients.

At Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC), we support drug discovery innovators by providing world-leading scientific and drug discovery expertise, state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and infrastructure, with advanced technologies and analytics. We accelerate innovation, support business growth, and help improve patient outcomes. MDC is an independent, commercially active not-for-profit company, reinvesting its revenues back into the sector to drive further growth and innovation. It is co-funded by industry and government, working with partners in the sector, to de-risk inventive technologies, techniques and companies – making them adoptable and investable. Our work with UK SMEs has helped them raise over £600m and take products and services to market.

We believe that science and innovation are the UK’s greatest strengths and act as a catalyst for pioneering collaborations across the whole sector. In high-risk areas of significant unmet patient need, MDC brings communities together across biotech, academia, technology, charities, and global pharma through powerful national programmes that target high-risk areas of patient need.

MDC builds and runs high-impact collaborative national programmes in areas of patient need. These include; the Psychiatry Consortium, the Cystic Fibrosis Syndicate, and the Hearing Therapeutics Initiative. Building on our ground-breaking work supporting the Covid-19 pandemic at a time of national need, we have also gone on to establish multiple high-profile collaborative drug discovery programmes, including a £30m initiative to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and a £32m national Total-Body PET imaging platform to advance areas of complex disease.

By driving the adoption of new scientific tools and techniques, and leveraging our key capabilities across Translational Imaging, Biomarkers, Cellular Sciences, Informatics, Virtual R&D and Syndicates, MDC will enable medicines discovery to be more:

  • Predictive of therapeutic effect
  • Effective in clinical trials
  • Innovative with decision-making data
  • Accessible through investment
  • Collaborative to respond to future challenges

With a  team of over 140 specialists,  our cutting-edge facilities are based at Alderley Park in Cheshire, UK. MDC is led by a highly skilled and engaged Executive team and Board who have an international reputation and extensive experience across all areas of Life Sciences.

MDC was established by Innovate UK in 2016 as part of the Catapult Network.


Reshaping Drug Discovery for Patient Benefit


“MDC will do what today’s sector community is asking of us. Firstly, to enable it, with MDC’s established technologies in imaging, disease modelling, informatics, and national coalitions. Secondly, to enhance it by using our biomarker technologies to support early phase clinical development – a critical value driver and route to investment for biotech. Thirdly, to help expand the sector, using MDC’s commercial skills, network, and resources to help high-risk assets safely reach the wider biotech investment community.

“MDC remains focused on its purpose to transform great UK science into better treatments through partnership: a team approach that translates the best of UK science into new medicines for the benefit of patients around the world and a thriving biotech sector at home.”

Professor Chris Molloy, CEO of Medicines Discovery Catapult


About the Catapult Network

The Catapult Network supports innovators in transforming great ideas into valuable products and services, including those working in the drug discovery sector. It delivers a network of world-leading technology and innovation centres with cutting-edge R&D infrastructures, including hubs, laboratories, testbeds, factories and offices, and technical expertise.

Catapults provide the best environments for innovation, enabling innovators to test, demonstrate and improve their ideas. They work with small, medium, and large businesses to understand the challenges they face and support them in the development of solutions that will help improve their business performance.

Read more about the Catapult Network.


The UK’s Industrial Strategy

The Catapult Network is a key part of the UK Innovation Strategy, which sets out the government’s vision to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035.

The Catapult Network will play a key role in implementing the strategy and supporting industrial sectors to innovate. At MDC, we drive each of the key areas on behalf of the UK’s drug discovery industry. The Innovation Strategy sets out four key areas that underpin the Government’s vision to put innovation at the heart of building back better. These are:

  • Unleashing Business – fuelling businesses who want to innovate by ensuring effective access to private and public investment.
  • People – creating the most exciting place for talented innovators.
  • Institutions and Places – ensuring R&D institutions serve the needs of businesses and promoting innovation in places across the UK.
  • Missions and Technologies – stimulate innovation in technology and missions that will provide the UK with a strategic advantage and will be critical to tackling some of our greatest challenges.

Click here for the full Government announcement and here for the strategy document.

Speak to Us

If you are involved with medicines discovery in the UK in any way, we can almost certainly assist you.