London, UK, 12 November 2012: MRC Technology, a technology transfer charity and company, announced today a £577,000 funding award from the Biomedical Catalyst. The award has been granted to MRC Technology to fund research into the role of cytokine IL-16 in Ischaemic Reperfusion Injury (IRI), the tissue damage and ensuing inflammatory response resulting from a sudden loss of blood flow, such as may occur during surgery or as a result of a blood clot.
The Biomedical Catalyst is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Delivered jointly by the MRC and the Technology Strategy Board, the Catalyst is a key feature of the UK Government’s Life Sciences Strategy. Under a three year programme, the fund will support some of the UK’s leading life science companies and academic research groups, enabling innovative products and services to pass more quickly from discovery to commercialisation.
The MRC Technology programme will deliver a humanised anti-IL-16 antibody along with efficacy, pharmacokinetic and toxicology data in mammalian models, as a prelude to partnering with pharma or biotech and subsequent progression into human clinical trials. The therapeutic potential of the anti-IL-16 antibody against other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases will also be investigated, using models including Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Professor Justin Bryans, Director of Drug Discovery at MRC Technology said: “Following successful proof of concept in a murine model, we are delighted to have received this early-stage award. This will enable us to progress the anti-IL-16 antibody project such that we can work towards delivering a ground breaking new treatment for a very serious condition, which we hope will ultimately help a significant number of patients.”
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About MRC Technology
MRC Technology (www.mrctechnology.org) is a technology transfer company responsible for adding commercial value to cutting edge scientific discoveries through strategic patent protection, creative licensing of intellectual property (IP), partnered research or further scientific development.
As well as offering technology transfer services to the UK’s Medical Research Council the Company has recently broadened its activity to include helping other charitable and academic organisations (such as AICR) with IP management and commercial development of healthcare-related science, thus bringing valuable income back to the organisations to help fund further research.
MRC Technology also has small molecule drug discovery and therapeutic antibody facilities, providing lead-stage therapeutic assets to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit: www.innovateuk.org
The Biomedical Catalyst, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2011, is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Delivered jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board, the Biomedical Catalyst provides responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK. The programme is open to UK academics and SMEs and seeks to support those opportunities which demonstrate the highest scientific and commercial potential, irrespective of medical area. For further information please visit: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/biomedical-catalyst.ashx