News & Views
Companies Pledge Funds to Accelerate Drug Discovery Process
Aug 12 2020 Read 168 Times
Funding of £7.5 million by three of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies will enable the University of Dundee’s Division of Signal Transduction Therapy (DSTT) to continue its award-winning work.
Pharmaceutical giants Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will provide the financial support for fundamental research in multiple therapeutic areas, including cancer, arthritis, lupus, hypertension and Parkinson’s disease. This new round of funding will support dozens of posts at Dundee for the next four years.
The DSTT comprises 23 research teams at Dundee’s School of Life Sciences, 13 of which are based within the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU).
Founded in 1998, expanded in 2003 and renewed in 2008, 2012 and 2018, the DSTT is the world’s longest running collaboration between academic research laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry. The latest renewal means the consortium has attracted more than £65 million in funding since its inception. It is widely regarded as a model for how academia and industry can interact productively for which it was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in 2006.
DSTT Director Professor Dario Alessi said, “It is incredibly exciting that we have succeeded in renewing our flagship collaboration with our pharmaceutical partners that has been ongoing for the last 22 years. This renewal reflects the high quality and importance of the research that our Dundee-based scientists are making to advance understanding of human diseases such as Parkinson’s, immune disorders and cancer.
“This renewal is a tremendous boost for our research and will secure well-paid jobs at the University of Dundee. It provides our students and postdoctoral researchers with vital experience that will encourage some of them to embark on a lifelong career in drug discovery.”
The DSTT works to help identify new drug targets and then accelerate the early phase development of improved treatments for major global diseases. It helps the participating pharmaceutical companies to develop improved drugs that target major ‘controller’ proteins in the body, focusing on enzymes called kinases and components of the ubiquitin system.
Further information www.dundee.ac.uk
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