The Psychiatry Consortium has announced its first call for projects that focus on the identification of novel drug targets, in order to address the unmet therapeutic needs of people with mental health conditions.

The organisation has also confirmed that applicants can submit project proposals to the consortium from the 7th of October 2019.

The Consortium, a collaboration between leading medical charities, pharma and healthcare companies, is focussed on the drug discovery challenge of identifying and validating novel drug targets, aiming to provide approximately £3 million in research funding over three years to support high-value drug discovery projects.

The initiative comes as despite the increasing need for better medicines to treat psychiatry conditions, funding for mental health research has remained flat over the ten-year period from 2008 – 2017, but with recent scientific advances and a better understanding of the biology underlying psychiatric disorders, there is now a renewed opportunity to advance R&D in psychiatry.

The Consortium detailed that it is looking for projects that focus on novel molecular targets for mental health conditions including psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, stress-related disorders, PTSD, OCD, autism spectrum disorders, as well as psychiatric symptoms associated with dementia and other cognitive disorders.

It also wants projects that generate evidence that links molecular targets to human disease and evidence of target modulation having a therapeutic effect, and enable tools for target validation – such as tool compounds, biomarkers, assays, and models.

All entries must be submitted before the closing date on 22nd November 2019, 23:59 (GMT).