Drug Discovery and Translational Biomedical Research

by Jehangir Cama

The TREE Industry Team of the University of Exeter hosted the Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) on the 13th of September, with an informative seminar on the role of the MDC in the UK’s drug development ecosystem followed by a networking lunch and a series of 15 one-to-one meetings between Exeter academics and the three representatives of the MDC. Besides academics, local SMEs were also represented, and the programme was co-sponsored by BMG Labtech, who arranged a stall to display their technology. The MDC team consisted of Dr. Graeme Wilkinson, Head of Virtual Drug Discovery at the Catapult, along with Dr. Imran Haq and Dr. Mark Davies, scientists with vast experience in the pharmaceutical industry who are now Business Development Managers at the MDC.

The purpose of the meeting was to showcase Exeter’s dynamic life sciences research programme and the strategic vision encompassed by the state-of-the-art Living Systems Institute, to see what role this environment may play in the wider UK drug discovery space. The 1-1 sessions were designed to facilitate collaborations between the academics and the MDC, focussing on projects with particular scope for industry translation. All three MDC participants were extremely impressed at the scope of research being undertaken in Exeter, and a return visit is already under consideration to further develop links with the University. Particularly strong connections were made in the field of neuroscience, with the MDC’s Psychiatry Consortium being an ideal complement to the range of neuroscience and neurology research being undertaken in the Exeter Medical School. The MDC’s offer of facilitating access to biobanks for samples was also greeted enthusiastically, with academics keen to take advantage of the opportunity. Prospective projects include studies on topics ranging from technology development in mass spectrometry, to disease related programmes on diabetes and antimicrobial resistance, amongst others.

All in all, the event was a great success, with a number of potential collaborations in the works!

If any academics/SMEs would like further information, or would like to meet the MDC on their next visit to Exeter, please email Dr. Jehangir Cama () to express interest.

Further links:

David Whitehouse – Impact and Partnership Development Manager: Medical Technologies ( or Tel 01392 726759)

TREE Industry Team (https://www.exeter.ac.uk/tree/meettheteam/industryteam/)

Medicines Discovery Catapult (https://md.catapult.org.uk/)

A lively and innovative gathering at the Medicines Discovery Catapult event 2019

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