Partnership launched to fast track drug discovery

The University of Nottingham is part of a new industry collaboration launched to accelerate drug discovery projects that will fast track research from lab to patient.

The University of Nottingham is one of four universities selected by drug development company Evotec SE and global pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb to be part of the newly formed beLAB1407.

Evotec, together with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY), has launched beLAB1407, a new $20 m academic BRIDGE to identify and advance novel and breakthrough drug discovery opportunities across therapeutic areas from the UK’s top-tier academic institutions. Through a unique combination of Evotec’s drug discovery and development platforms and early-stage therapeutic concepts from the Universities of Nottingham, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Dundee, beLAB1407 offers a unique route to the advancement of first-in-class therapeutics and the creation of spin-out companies.

Evotec’s BRIDGE (Biomedical Research, Innovation & Development Generation Efficiency) collaborations provide an integrated fund and award framework to validate exciting academic projects in collaborations with Pharma and biotech with the goal to form new companies. Since implementing the first academic BRIDGE ‘LAB282’ in Oxford in November 2016, Evotec has continued to evolve similar collaborations with a variety of academic, Pharma and venture capital partners across Europe and North America.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham from the schools of Biosciences, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Medicine and Pharmacy work across all areas of drug discovery from target identification to clinical trials and will have the opportunity to apply for funding from this project.

“beLab1407 is an innovative model for funding early stage drug discovery projects. It encapsulates a collaboration across four leading UK Universities and two highly reputable commercial partners that will provide insight and skills as well as funding. This presents an exciting opportunity for the university to accelerate its drug discovery research and fast track the process of the creation of spin out companies to commercialise the research to benefit society. The university already has a strong track record of developing successful spin-out companies with a portfolio of 25 companies and notable successful examples in Life Sciences include Scancell Plc, Oncimmune Plc, and Exonate Ltd. This partnership with Evotec and Bristol Myers Squib will only strengthen that further”. Dr Andrew Naylor, CEO Nottingham Technology Ventures from the University of Nottingham

Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, said: “We are thrilled to launch beLAB1407 together with our partners at Bristol Myers Squibb with whom we’ve worked on a variety of projects over a period of many years. beLAB1407 provides researchers from the member institutions with a unique way to fast-track their projects, to validate them on our industrial-grade platform and have partnering options including company formations readily available to them.”

Dr Rupert Vessey, Executive Vice President and President, Research and Early Development at Bristol Myers Squibb commented: “This collaboration builds on our important connection to leading European universities. With beLAB1407, we are supporting U.K.-based universities that are exploring many interesting lines of scientific research and discovery. That research combined with Evotec’s proprietary data platforms has the potential to identify new and novel therapies for areas of unmet medical need.”

The name beLAB1407 alludes to the distance between Land’s end in the far southwest of Great Britain to its north-easternmost point near the village of John o’ Groats in Scotland, which – if travelled by bike – adds up to 1,407 kilometres. To learn more about beLAB1407,

visit www.belab1407.org.

The full University of Nottingham press release can be viewed at the link below:

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/partnership-launched-to-fast-track-drug-discovery

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