New collaboration will advance human-based drug evaluation

Medicines Discovery Catapult and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Drug Safety Science (CDSS) at the University of Liverpool announce strategic collaboration to develop next generation human cell models

Today (7th November 2018) Medicines Discovery Catapult and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Drug Safety Science (CDSS) at the University of Liverpool have agreed a memorandum of understanding to combine their academic and industry expertise developing next generation 3D human cell models and creating robust cellular platforms. Through the collaboration these will be available to UK drug discovery SMEs.

It is vital that early drug discovery is performed on cell models that closely represent patients. Next generation 3D cell models will provide even better predictive and patient relevant data by mimicking human tissue architecture, microenvironment, and signalling.

The purpose of the collaboration is to identify and establish projects focused on the development of human 3D cell models and robust cellular platforms.

The first project to be undertaken under the new alliance will focus on the development of a next generation cardiac safety model. The human cell model will enable companies to measure a broader range of patient relevant toxicities in a single assay.

CDSS brings extensive experience in pre-clinical safety and in the establishment of new models and techniques that are clinically relevant. In addition, CDSS has a suite of novel cell models and systems – fit for various toxicological and efficacy applications – and access to clinical networks for patient samples.

Medicines Discovery Catapult brings drug discovery expertise capabilities and a rapidly developing suite of cutting-edge research technologies as well as a close relationship with the UK life science and technology SME communities.

Cell models will be jointly identified, fully characterised, optimised, industry-validated and made available to UK SMEs at the Medicines Discovery Catapult.

As the partnership develops it will combine the cell biology and pharmacology expertise of CDSS with Medicines Discovery Catapult’s organ-on-a-chip capabilities and know-how, to explore ground-breaking opportunities to connect together multiple organ models to further improve patient relevance.