MDC Annual Report, For the Year Ended 31 March 2022

A Transformative Year

Medicines Discovery Catapult logo

Medicines Discovery Catapult Limited’s (MDC) Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2022 demonstrates its ongoing impact across the UK life sciences sector, its wider significant contribution to the nation delivered during the pandemic and its financial resilience.

This Annual Report shows how MDC has continued to build on its solid foundations and deliver on its vision of reshaping drug discovery for patient benefit through its clear purpose of transforming great science into better treatments through partnership.

Since its foundation in 2017, MDC has delivered 238 collaborative R&D projects; partnered with 196 organisations, including SMEs, academia and research institutes, large companies (pharma and tech), medical research charities, and investors. MDC’s partners have benefitted from 3rd party grant income of £20.8m and used MDC outputs to help raise £400m in private investment.

MDC was proud to play a leading role in establishing the Lighthouse Laboratory network and managing the Alderley Park Lighthouse Laboratory (APLL) as part of that network.

MDC built the APLL in March 2020 at the request of the UK government – training over 1,000 early career scientists in the high-growth, high-skill biotech and diagnostics industry. At its peak, APLL could test up to 100,000 samples daily, processing over 23 million tests throughout the pandemic. The wider Lighthouse Lab network – the largest diagnostic network in British history – tested 150 million samples throughout the pandemic. This effort undoubtedly helped to save lives across the country.

This achievement was only possible by harnessing MDC’s proven capability in driving UK industrial-scale innovation, with extensive collaboration and steadfast support from the wider community, aligned to a common goal.

Uniting the sector and embracing new technology is a recurring theme throughout MDC’s 2021/22 Annual Report. The report also highlights some significant MDC milestones over the past year, including:

  • Relaunching the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre: In partnership with the University of Manchester, MDC revitalised a facility that had been closed since 2020. It can now, through MDC, provide drug discovery biotechs and academic innovators with vital, hard-to-make radiochemicals – increasing the UK’s potential to discover new and better therapies for patients faster, retaining key expertise within the region and bolstering the North West’s status as an international powerhouse in life sciences.
  • Collaboration: By supporting companies with their research and early clinical development strategies for novel medicines.
  • Addressing unmet patient needs: Driving initiatives in areas of advanced technologies such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging and focusing on several key disease groups, including cystic fibrosis, psychiatry and infectious diseases.

Professor Chris Molloy, CEO of Medicines Discovery Catapult, said:

“The past year has shown the ever-increasing impact of Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) on the drug discovery community and the nation, within a complex and challenging environment, as the UK’s pandemic response continued to evolve.

“Throughout the pandemic, our expert team showed remarkable resilience and delivery of the ongoing work of MDC plus one of the national Lighthouse Laboratories. Through their commitment and dedication, MDC delivered a surplus in the year, which will be re-invested aligned to our not-for-profit status, to extend our impact, achieve our vision of reshaping drug discovery for patient benefit, and ensure the UK remains a global leader at the forefront of innovation.

“I look forward to building on our success over the first five years to achieve our vision. MDC’s bright and ambitious future is one of growth, development, and expanded impact. Across every part of our organisation, we will deliver great science through effective delivery and collaboration, a testament to our highly skilled and dedicated workforce.”

As a not-for-profit organisation, MDC will deploy its earnings to accelerate the UK’s innovation in drug discovery and enable the nation to produce the next generation of precision medicines and technologies. The sector investments MDC can make – earned through the delivery of APLL – will play a crucial part in this.

MDC’s resources are focused on its core purpose of reshaping drug R&D by transforming great UK science into better treatments through partnership. We continue to do this by developing and driving the adoption of new technologies and techniques to make medicines R&D more predictive and productive. We are also focused on providing scarce and valuable expertise and technology to de-risk UK medicines and technology assets – improving their chances of success in securing onward investment and enabling market readiness.

The life sciences sector is among the most valuable and strategically important to the UK economy and critical to the country’s health, wealth, and resilience. MDC plays a pivotal role in supporting the delivery of the UK Life Sciences Vision through its established and recognised R&D activities.

Download MDC’s annual report for the year ended 31 March 2022 here