• Partnership to Advance Application of Microscopy in Drug Discovery
    Martin Main
  • Michael Albiez

News & Views

Partnership to Advance Application of Microscopy in Drug Discovery

Aug 15 2022

In a combined effort to improve early development of complex medicines, the Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) and Zeiss have joined forces to incorporate advanced microscopy techniques into the early stages of the drug discovery process to assess drug activity within disease models.

With specialist microscopy capabilities already established in its Alderley Park-based laboratory facilities, MDC will apply its expertise in cell biology and drug discovery with ZEISS’ microscope instrumentation and image analysis capabilities to drive advanced microscopy workflows (e.g. confocal, lightsheet, multiphoton and super-resolution microscopy) to measure the interaction between drug molecules and biological systems and develop assays specifically tailored to drug discovery.

Assessment of cellular internalisation, to ensure that a lead molecule can enter the cell and deliver an effective response, is a critical step in this process. In the project, 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 research.

Michael Albiez, Head of ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions, commented: “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, said: “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.

“Through this partnership, we will push the boundaries of advanced microscopy in drug discovery, further driving the adoption of new scientific tools and techniques for drug discovery,” he added.

MDC goal is to reshape the UK’s medicines discovery industry, transforming great UK science into better treatments through partnership. It works to tackle industry-led challenges, overcoming the barriers that limit today’s drug discovery with effective interventions and industrialising new technologies to drive the adoption of new scientific tools and techniques for discovering medicines.

More information online


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