Lund University, Medical Faculty

Possibilities for researchers in Sweden and LU to pursue the path of drug discovery

For researchers involved in signalling pathways and identification of receptors and with limited expertise in Drug Discovery and Medicinal Chemistry; developing compounds targeting identified pathways has been a major hurdle both funding-wise - too late for research funding and too early for commercial investment - and competence-wise.   

The Swedish government has somewhat tried to correct this gap in financing and available resources. Researchers affiliated to Swedish universities can apply to the national resource Chemical Biology Consortium (CBCS); a part of SciLife.  which can assist in screening for hits. The scientific quality will determine if projects are approved in their bi-annual internal evaluation process. CBCS is connected to Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) platform at SciLife, who can perform ADME (Administration Distribution Metabolism Excretion) studies on your lead compounds and simpler toxicity studies. Scientific quality and clinical and commercial utility are evaluated for eligibility at DDDp.  They also collaborate closely with CBCS to bring projects all the way from hit to lead optimization. For approved projects both at CBCS and DDD, researchers only need to cover costs for reagents, bringing down costs from several million to a few hundred thousand SEK to generate optimized lead compounds.

MRC Technologies
is a UK-based charity organization focused on drug discovery and early commercialisation who are interested in collaborating with academics world-wide. For projects to be considered, there should be available human data, at least for literature validation. MRC Technology can develop small molecules and antibodies in collaboration with academic institutions. Costs for work done in the researchers´own laboratories are not covered. Revenue is shared when projects are sold, after pre-clinical phase. MRC have around 70 appointed chemists and scientists for drug discovery. MRC Technology projects have led to the approved drugs Tysabri, Actemra, Entyvio and Keytruda. If interested in collaborating with MRCT, please contact Innovation Manager Annie George Chandy.

Funding sources for early projects in Life Science projects with a medical application are e.g:

LU exploratory pre-seed grant

LU Innovation System has opened a call where up to 400 000 SEK are made available for early Life Science projects (typically before proof-of-concept) with a commercial application.  Researchers affiliated to universities in Southern Sweden are eligible to apply.  Dead-line 12 September 2016.

Exploratory pre-seed grant from Novo Foundation

Exploratory pre-seed grant from Novo Foundation, where support to application-oriented research and the test of new ideas that may lead to the development of new medical treatments, disease prevention, devices and diagnostic methods, as well as new industrial biotechnology in the life science area are funded. Next application dead-line 13 october 2016.

Useful links:

LU exploratory pre-seed

Novo nordisk Exploratory pre-seed grant

Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden

Drug Discovery and Development platform

MRC Technology

Last updated: June 13, 2016
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