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Roche signs neurological pact with UK's MRC
MRC Technology and Genentech, a wholly owned member of the Roche Group, have signed an exclusive license agreement for the discovery of a series of small molecule drug candidates for the treatment of neurological disease.
As per the terms of the agreement, Genentech is expected to provide MRC Technology an upfront payment and also provide clinical development milestone payments and royalties on sales.
MRC Technology claimed that this is the first small molecule chemistry programme evolved from its Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD) and the first small molecule collaboration the CTD has formed.
MRC Technology's CTD initiated a small molecule drug discovery programme that included medicinal chemistry, biology, analytical and DMPK computational chemistry, by working with investigators funded through Medical Research Council of UK.
Dave Tapolczay, CEO of MRC Technology, said: "We are delighted that we have been able to partner this programme with Genentech, and pleased that the terms of our agreement reflect the value of the small molecule drug discovery programme and support our business model.
"We can collaborate with other technology transfer organisations, on a shared risk basis, to develop small molecule drug discovery programmes and targets with therapeutic potential.
"When the resulting clinical candidate is subsequently licensed, both parties will not only accomplish their translational research aims, but also share in its commercial success going forward."
About Genentech
Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit
About Medical Research Council Technology (MRC Technology)
MRC Technology is the exclusive commercialisation agent for the UK Medical Research Council, working to translate cutting edge scientific discoveries into commercial products. It is now the most successful academic healthcare technology transfer organization in the world (AUTM Licensing survey 2007).
MRC Technology bridges the gap between innovative basic
science and making medicine. It works to provide drug-like candidate molecules to innovative new drug targets, and to translate innovative antibody-based drug targets into potent and selective therapeutic antibody candidates giving pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies new starting points for drug discovery and development, based on MRC advances in science.
MRC Technology's Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD)
collaborates with academic scientists to develop drug discovery projects targeting diseases for which there is significant unmet need. It applies state of the art computational and medicinal chemistry to produce "drug-like" molecules with the potential to become therapies. Scientists from academia benefit from the wealth of the CTD's expertise including provision of tool compounds and reagents (including monoclonal antibodies) for further target validation and characterization studies, in silico screening, and access to medicinal chemistry, screening technologies and ADMET. CTD will also provide academia access to its hybridoma production capability and its extensive antibody engineering and expression expertise as well as its core antibody humanization skills. This initiative will also enable UK scientists to tap into MRC's recently announced Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) and collaborate with a high quality drug discovery capability whilst retaining existing IP ownership.
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