Research consortium combines research excellence and expertise to evolve drug discovery

A new research consortium aims to identify opportunities for drug discovery through the innovative use of antibodies in structure-based drug discovery and design.

MRC Technology, UCB and our University will use antibodies as powerful tools to identify and characterise novel regulatory or allosteric sites on therapeutic target proteins, to stabilise functionally important protein conformational states, and to characterise key structural features of complexes formed with activity modulating antibodies.

The unique knowledge gained by this approach will be exploited to guide the discovery and design of novel small molecule therapeutics, addressing unmet clinical needs and delivering significant benefits for patients.

Antibody-assisted drug discovery is a relatively new field which builds on world-leading complementary research expertise in the UK, covering all aspects of monoclonal antibody production and structural biology. Combining expertise could lead to a step change in knowledge-based drug discovery and highlights the benefits of a public-private sector partnership approach to future drug discovery.

Mark Carr, Professor of Biochemistry, Leicester Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology said: “The new consortium builds on very successful existing drug discovery collaborations between structural biology groups at the University and both MRC Technology and UCB. This exciting new venture brings together a world-leading combination of translational research scientists and by combining the expertise and knowledge available in the public and private sectors provides a tremendous opportunity to pioneer antibody-assisted drug discovery. The potential economic and healthcare benefits for the UK are substantial.”

  • The University of Leicester conducts fundamental and applied research across all disciplines creating a strong culture of interaction, sharing and learning, helping to deliver an outstanding education for its students.
  • Press release