Partnership will focus on driving the application of microscopy in drug discovery

Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) and Zeiss have joined forces to improve drug discovery and early development of complex medicines by harnessing advanced microscopy solutions.

Advanced microscopy techniques have emerged as a foundation of biomedical research, capable of visualising cellular functions at very high resolution, while being minimally invasive to the cells or tissues of interest.

Incorporating advanced microscopy techniques into the early stages of the drug discovery process can provide invaluable information about drug activity within complex disease models.

Combining MDC’s experience in cell biology and drug discovery with Zeiss’ microscope instrumentation and image analysis capabilities, the partnership will drive the application of advanced microscopy workflows such as confocal, light sheet, multiphoton and super-resolution microscopy.

This activity will measure the interaction between drug molecules and biological systems, and develop assays specifically tailored to drug discovery.

As part of the ongoing collaboration, MDC and Zeiss will produce a live cell imaging and image analysis pipeline that can be deployed to assess novel drug delivery technologies and therapeutics, enabling innovators to advance their respective projects.

Michael Albiez, head of Zeiss research microscopy solutions at Zeiss, explained: “We are very excited about partnering with MDC to pursue our mutual goal of enabling drug hunters across the globe to discover and develop better drugs faster. Pairing MDC’s expertise in drug discovery with our unique capabilities across imaging modalities, workflow automation, and AI-powered image analysis will undoubtedly pave the way for powerful new discoveries in biopharma.”

Dr Martin Main, chief scientist at MDC, added: “Advanced microscopy offers an array of benefits to drug discovery, from characterising complex cell models of disease, to understanding the molecular mechanism of drug action. MDC’s Advanced Microscopy capability allows UK drug discovery innovators access to this critical R&D resource to progress their targets more efficiently and effectively, bringing better treatments to patients, faster.”