Derived from proteins made by the body’s immune system, monoclonal antibodies are successful drugs used to treat millions of patients. The MRC/UCB Antibody Discovery Initiative offers academic researchers access to UCB’s high-tech antibody discovery platform. Andrew Popplewell, Head of Antibody Discovery and Engineering at UCB Celltech, explains how the initiative is geared to help promote collaborative research.
"Typically, the academic scientists offer in-depth knowledge and expertise in an area of biology or for a drug target – a molecule in the body with which the drug specifically interacts leading to a therapeutic effect. The biotech or pharma company provides funding and resources, their experience of drug discovery and access to equipment and facilities.
"In the case of the MRC/UCB Antibody Discovery Initiative, we offer academic researchers access to UCB’s antibody discovery platform. This provides a fantastic opportunity for an academic researcher to work with our antibody technology team. They’ll work together to find therapeutic antibodies, or reagent antibodies, to test in disease models.
"For scientists in academia, such schemes can provide the chance to see, first-hand, how things operate in industry. They enable researchers to better understand some of the different challenges faced by industry. And they provide the opportunity to move work towards the clinic, where it could benefit patients."