How can academia contribute to drug development?

With the monolithic in-house model of drug development breaking down, can adademic research units contribute new drug candidates?

The University of Sussex certainly thinks so. The Sussex Drug Discovery Centre (SDDC) is a fully integrated group of drug discovery scientists, equipped with industry standard equipment and capabilities, based at the University of Sussex. Senior staff are all ex-industry and the centre is organised to identify and develop new drug candidates.

With a focus on CNS, oncology and respiratory, the team has aleady pioneered strong allegiances with pharma companies and the lead compound should be ready for out-licensing within 18 months, or so. The interesting thing about SDDC is the integration of academic research excellence (the university), with pharma-savvy senior scientists (four professors).

So perhaps there is an alternative to VC-funded startups based in Boston, Massachusetts...

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