What we do

Our team has decades of experience across large pharma, academia, leading technology providers, SMEs, charities and start-ups.

What we do

Cell Model Analysis and Validation

We can test your lead molecule in our suite of human, in-vitro cell models (currently focussed on neuroscience, liver, cardiac and oncology) to demonstrate efficacy in healthy and disease models or evaluate potential toxicity. Alternatively, we can help to characterise and validate your novel cell model or technology in a real-world medicines discovery setting. Key technologies include:

  • Organ-on-a-chip platforms
  • Mass spectrometry and mass spectrometry imaging
  • Advanced microscopy
  • Transcriptomics and biomarker signatures

Target & Pathway Engagement

We can help you build a platform of evidence linking your drug molecule to modulation of its target protein and downstream biological effect, in relevant in-vitro and in-vivo assay systems. Key technologies include:

  • Advanced microscopy
  • Mass spectrometry and mass spectrometry imaging
  • Transcriptomics and biomarker signatures
  • Preclinical Imaging

Together with a suite of molecular and cell biology methods.

Drug Delivery & Biodistribution

We can help you understand your lead molecule or delivery technology by applying in-vivo imaging to measure the biodistribution of labelled molecules (small molecules, antibodies and ADCs, nanomedicines) in real-time. This can assess the impact of different delivery methods on biodistribution and biological effects.

We can also apply mass spectrometry imaging and multiphoton imaging to measure the distribution of unlabelled molecules (and drug metabolites) in tissue sections.


We can identify novel biomarkers to track the impact of your proposed new lead molecule, or test known biomarkers to support the translation of your potential therapeutic. For example, biomarkers to enable patient stratification, demonstrate efficacy or monitor safety endpoints. Key assay platforms include:

  • Spatial biomarker analysis using molecular pathology
  • Spatial transcriptomics within tissue sections
  • Experience in advanced diagnostic screening in our Lighthouse Lab
  • Mass spectrometry imaging
  • Bulk analysis of samples using transcriptomics and mass spectrometry


We can integrate, analyse and interpret complex data to help you to make decisions about how to support the development of new therapeutics. We can apply our multidisciplinary expertise, novel methods, unique algorithms and exclusive datasets to help you with target identification, virtual screening, predictions of drug efficacy, and the analysis of the rich experimental data. Our key strengths include:

  • Multidisciplinary expertise in Bioinformatics, Cheminformatics and Bioimaging informatics
  • Application of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing using state-of-the-art Deep Learning methods to extract value from unstructured data
  • Data infrastructure support with expertise in data management, workflows, visualisation and software development
  • Integration with the wet lab to support further validation of in-silico predictions

Technology Innovation

We have established a suite of ‘hard-to-access’ assay & bioanalytical technologies that can be applied to address your project challenges. Key platforms include:

  • Preclinical small animal imaging including PET
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Advanced microscopy
  • Molecular pathology

In addition, we have established access to pre-commercial technologies through collaborative partnerships with innovators, and we are always on the lookout for new opportunities of this type.


Our syndicates are disease focussed, lasting partnerships and anchored to patients by the central role of the relevant medical research charity. Created as inclusive consortia, they bring together key R&D players from different sectors to drive focussed efforts in areas of unmet need and to facilitate faster and more efficient medicines discovery.

A Strategy for Success

Working in close collaboration with you, our team will define a bespoke project plan, using industry-leading insight and experience to address your project challenges and increase your chance of success.

We can provide guidance where you may need it, find the right partners to help you, fill gaps in your existing project plan and help manage your project delivery. It’s what we do.

Lightening the Load

The advantage of partnering with others for some or all of your R&D is twofold: Firstly, you get to keep your internal team lean, agile, focused and cost-effective. Secondly, you gain access to specialist scientific experts and costly technologies – in a flexible manner as you need it.

Whether you need to generate complex assay data, source samples or develop a novel biomarker as a potential companion diagnostic, MDC’s Discovery team can offer seamless support.

Finding the Right Partners

The UK is rich with resources in medicines R&D. But the wealth of talent and technology available can feel overwhelming to those with limited time and resources to explore it. The Discovery team will help you navigate this complex landscape, understand the skills and expertise that you require, and then connect with the people and organisations that can provide them.

Our network of partners spans both the private and public sectors, taking in CROs, universities, research institutes and the NHS. It’s a network comprised of some of the sharpest minds that UK medicines discovery has to offer.