MRC Technology, a technology transfer organization, and Parkinson’s U.K., a support and research charity, have announced a joint “call for targets.” The call aims to identify and fund either one or two projects focused on potential small molecule or antibody targets to slow, stop or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s. The call to academic researchers seeks to fund target validation and proof-of-concept studies prior to initiating a full-scale drug discovery project.
The joint action draws on MRC Technology’s experience in translating novel biology into lead stage therapeutics, and the management of associated intellectual property, combined with the experience Parkinson’s U.K. has in supporting academic research into Parkinson’s for better understanding of the condition and development of new treatments.
Parkinson’s U.K. will fund selected projects with expected awards of up to $234,315 over two years. Projects will be evaluated for progression into MRC Technology’s Center for Therapeutic Discovery (CTD) to generate small molecules or therapeutic antibodies against the targets.
Mike Johnson, director of corporate partnerships at MRC Technology, said, “The joint call builds on our existing partnership with Parkinson’s U.K. and will enable us to access novel Parkinson’s targets as a critical step toward finding new treatments.”
Supporting technology transfer and PI management efforts, MRC Technology set up its drug discovery laboratories to bridge the gap between early-stage academic research and the development of intellectual property suitable for licensing to industry for further development and commercialization. De-risking novel targets by providing proof-of-concept and pharma-quality data packages fulfills a need in the drug discovery process. The collaboration opens the MRC Technology laboratories to a new source of targets from the Parkinson’s research field.