MRC Technology, the technology-transfer arm of the UK’s Medical Research Council, has launched 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.
The call to academic researchers offers funding for target validation and proof-of-concept studies prior to initiation of a full-scale drug discovery project. Parkinson’s UK will fund selected projects, with awards expected to be worth up to £150,000 over two years.
Once completed, the selected projects will be evaluated for progression into MRC Technology’s Centre for Therapeutic Discovery (CTD), to generate small molecules or therapeutic antibodies against the Parkinson’s disease targets.
The joint action draws on MRC Technology’s expertise in translating novel, promising biology into lead-stage therapeutics, as well as the management of associated intellectual property, the Medical Research Council pointed out.
At the same time, it taps into Parkinson’s UK’s experience with supporting academic research aimed at a better understanding of Parkinson’s disease and new-treatment development.
“Our cutting-edge research is unearthing genuinely promising new ideas for treatments that can slow or even stop the progress of Parkinson’s – something no current drug can do,” commented Dr Kieran Breen, director of research and innovation at Parkinson’s UK.
“But now we face the huge challenge of moving these breakthroughs forward to become the treatments of tomorrow, Breen added.
“MRC Technology really are the specialists in this area and their expertise will be crucial for us to bring new therapies to people with Parkinson’s as speedily and efficiently as possible.”