MRC Technology (MRCT) and Arthritis Research UK are seeking funding proposals from UK-based academic researchers to validate small-molecule or antibody targets in pathways significant to the development or progression of musculoskeletal conditions.

The medical research charity for arthritis is offering grants of up to £100,000 for selected projects that demonstrate clear linkage between a target and impact on disease.

Once completed, the projects will be evaluated for potential uptake by MRC Technology’s Centre for Therapeutic Discovery to generate small molecules or therapeutic antibodies against the relevant targets.

Last month MRC Technology, the technology-transfer arm of the Medical Research Council, announced a joint call with research and support charity Parkinson’s UK for potential small-molecule or antibody targets to slow, arrest or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Combined expertise

The latest joint initiative draws on MRC Technology’s expertise in translating novel biology into lead-stage therapeutics, and in managing the associated intellectual property, as well as Arthritis Research UK’s experience in supporting academic research into all forms of arthritis and the development of new treatments, the partners noted.

Academic researchers interested in applying for funding can find more details of the call for targets online at

The call is open to academic researchers in UK universities, hospitals or recognised academic research institutes. The deadline for outline submissions is noon on 4 October 2013.