Drug discovery accelerator launched at Oxford
Drug discovery accelerator launched at Oxford

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Drug discovery accelerator launched at Oxford

Chris McIntyre

A new partnership has been formed to speed up the development of next-generation medicines arising from Oxford University research.

Called ‘Lab282’, the initiative will provide a £13million fund for biomedical researchers at Oxford, as well as support from an expert in residence, to promote the rapid translation of research into new drug discovery and development programmes.

Lab282 will accelerate the development of new treatments and cures for serious and debilitating disease, helping patients live longer and better lives, reducing the burden on global healthcare systems, and promoting economic growth.

The public-private partnership, which will run for an initial three years, includes the University of Oxford, Oxford University Innovation Ltd, OUI, (the university’s research commercialisation company), Oxford Sciences Innovation plc, OSI, (the world’s largest IP investment company dedicated to a single university), and Evotec AG (a drug discovery organisation with a track record of innovative academic partnerships).

Professor Matthew Wood, Associate Head of Medical Sciences Division (Research) at Oxford University, said: “Lab282 represents an important innovation for Oxford in maximising the impact of public funding in medical sciences. As the number one ranked medical school in the world it is critically important that the quality of our research is matched by high quality translational support which increases the likelihood of future societal benefits.”

New projects will be sourced across any therapeutic area exclusively from Oxford University researchers via OUI. Funding will come from OSI, and Evotec will contribute its drug discovery expertise and platforms to select projects and develop them.

Under the terms of the agreement, researchers may apply for awards of up to £250k, or more in exceptional circumstances. Sourcing and positioning of new projects for support from Lab282 will be aided by a drug discovery expert in residence seconded from Evotec, embedded in the university.

Should projects funded by Lab282 yield positive results, spinout companies from the university will be formed to further develop new therapies, supported by the Lab282 partners and/or new investors.

For more information, visit www.lab282.org