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Academic collaborations

The UCL Drug Discovery Institute will work with researchers to develop the most promising targets through early-phase drug discovery.

We are taking a broad approach to target identification, seeking novel targets and ideas from not only within University College London, but across the UK and globally, alongside our partner Institutes at the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford. We also work very closely with scientists within the Dementia Research Institute at UCL.

We are interested in hearing from researchers with molecular targets or hypotheses that have the potential to lead to new therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases. While we will prioritise collaborations on specific drug targets, where there is a higher degree of validation, an earlier stage hypothesis will still be considered. We encourage dialogue at any stage about potential collaborations.


Why drug discovery in an academic setting?

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Academic drug discovery has gained traction over recent years and the pharmaceutical industry is no longer the sole point of call for target development and lead optimisation. Nearly a fifth of drugs recently approved by the EMA originated from academic and publicly-funded drug discovery programmes, and we’ve seen particular successes in the field of oncology. Dementia is a huge area of unmet clinical need and one that we can tackle by uniting the deep disease area knowledge of academia with the broad drug discovery expertise of the Alzheimer’s research UK Drug Discovery Alliance.

Why UCL?

The UCL DDI, is part of the Faculty of Brain Sciences and the Institute of Neurology, a world centre of excellence for research into diseases of the nervous system. The UCL DDI is also embedded within the UCL Neuroscience community, currently rated second in the world by ISI Essential Science Indicators. One of our key strengths is our close association with the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals’ NHS Foundation Trust, placing people at the heart of everything we do.

Target identification – next steps

We are looking to expland our research portfolio. If you would like to have an informal discussion with our Chief Scientific Officer, Paul Whiting, please get in touch. Alternatively, you can submit targets for consideration by the UCL DDI, or the wider Drug Discovery Alliance, using a pro-forma.

Targets not incorporated into the portfolio of the UCL Drug Discovery Institute could be considered by the other two institutes and there is a strong culture of collaboration and support across the Alliance.