× Medicines Discovery Catapult

Virtual R&D is the practise of medicines R&D using external networks of best-in-class research and development partners and providers, ensuring the critical experiments are done, data is captured, and a rounded IP estate is secured.

The UK has an wealth of private and public sector assets to support modern medicines R&D from new concept to  proof of concept in patients. These include a vibrant and dynamic network of R&D companies, research organisations, the NHS, world-class institutes and universities.

However, this complex landscape can be challenging for industry to navigate, particularly for SMEs, translational academics and charities. This can restrict access to current, industry-quality advice and to specialised services. This impedes translation of assets that could be licensed or financed by larger industry. New innovations therefore fail to make it to patients.

At Medicines Discovery Catapult, our mission is to accelerate drug discovery, and help transform ideas into better medicines for patients, faster. To enable this at scale we are mapping, curating and using national networks to help SMEs, charity-led drug Discovery Syndicates access the expertise and resources they need quickly and efficiently.

Our Virtual R&D platform uses a unique national network of up-to-date industry-skilled consultants and service providers to deliver three essential elements:

  1. ‘Pop-up’ Advisory Teams
    Identification of the critical experiments needed to enable a specific R&D program to deliver an asset that is industry-licensable or fundable
  2. UK Capability Map
    Identification of the resources which can best deliver the quality results the program needs
  3. Virtual Program Management
    Industry experienced project, contracting, and logistics management of the multiple partners and effective capture of both data and IP

Our aims

We will deliver value to the project owner and potential future partners through:

  • Rapid, independent diligence of programmes throughout the R&D value chain
  • Creation of agile, industry-relevant R&D project plans and achievable IP estates
  • Efficient management of multiple R&D delivery partners across portfolios of projects at scale
  • Best practice training and development in modern medicines R&D processes