Revolution starts at bioscience campus

Posted: July 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

The first technology innovations inspired by Cambridge researchers from a new European-leading bioscience campus in the UK have emerged.

The programme gives university researchers access to the drug development expertise of GSK and other pharmaceutical companies, while giving industry access to Cambridge research and know-how to accelerate the development of new medicines.

There are now two University research projects in place at SBC. Professor Peter McNaughton of the Department of Pharmacology is working on a novel new approach to the pain associated with heat.

Billions of dollars are spent each year on the treatment of pain, but there is currently no effective treatment for the extreme pain associated with hypersensitivity to heat.

Professor Robin Franklin of the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute is developing a new regenerative therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS). MS affects almost 100,000 people in the UK, 400,000 in the United States and several million worldwide.

This is a groundbreaking approach to early-stage drug discovery, which is typically enormously time-consuming and expensive, said Professor McNaughton.

The exchange of scientific ideas and overall atmosphere of collaboration at SBC can help us as researchers, as well as our industrial colleagues, become more efficient in developing new ideas which will lead to better drugs and improved clinical treatments.

Cambridge is the first university to establish this type of arrangement. Recently, the university, in a bid led by University College London, was awarded a share of 50 million in funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to enable the two universities to work together at SBC, in part to establish a range of collaborative training programmes to develop the next generation of entrepreneurial researchers, particularly in drug discovery.

The collaboration is directly supported by the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals' Biomedical Research Centre, and will be further expanded through UCLPartners.

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the Universitys Vice-Chancellor, said: Cambridge generates world-leading medical research and clinical insight, and in order to develop that research to the point where it can benefit patients, we work in partnership with industry.

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Revolution starts at bioscience campus

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