× Medicines Discovery Catapult

Drug discovery is challenging and unpredictable.

The key limitations that result in a lack of efficacy and high failure rates include:

  • Existing pre-clinical cell and animal testing models that are unable to provide patient-relevant data
  • Existing interrogation technologies that advance candidates with low precision and high toxicity

SMEs account for 90% of the UK discovery industry, and its vital that those developing new drug candidates are able to access robust, well-characterised, sophisticated human models for pre-clinical testing, and complex bio-analytical technologies to appropriately interrogate and advance only the promising candidates faster.

These human models and technologies require substantial capital investment and specialist expertise to own or have not yet been sufficiently established to be commercialised.

We exist to support:

Diagram to show the SMEs we support

Our Discovery Science & Technology team aims to:

  • Improve the predictability of drug performance and reduce late-stage failures by creating patient-relevant testing models and new interrogative technologies
  • Validate and establish these technologies in our laboratories in order to provide access to SMEs in a robust, validated format to help advance their drug discovery

Our key focus is to develop technologies and platforms that will enable:

  • Pre-clinical testing in human cell models and systems
  • Profiling of complex biology relating to clinical samples and disease
  • Biomarker identification, validation and assay development
  • Target engagement and validation
  • Targeted drug delivery

Our expert team blends industry-experienced discovery biologists with biomarker specialists and technologists. They are dedicated to humanising drug discovery and advancing our suite of bio-analytical technologies to deliver our capabilities.