Extra funds for Dundee University to develop new drugs

The University of Dundee has renewed seven-figure funding from three top pharmaceutical companies, supporting work to launch and speed up the development of new drugs to treat diseases like cancer and Parkinson's.

Dundee University has extended its 18-year collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry. Picture: Jane Barlow

The £7.2 million funding from industry to academia comes from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck, and secures 38 posts at Dundee for the next four years.

The university said the sum will support its division of signal transduction therapy (DSTT), the world’s longest-running collaboration between academic research laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry, and founded in 1998.

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The division works to help identify new drug targets and then accelerate the early-phase development of better treatments for major global diseases. Additionally, 12 of its 22 research teams are based in the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU).

Dario Alessi, MRC-PPU director, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to renew this remarkable 18-year flagship collaboration with our pharmaceutical partners. This alliance has never been more important as our Dundee-based researchers are making such tremendous progress in better understanding human diseases such as Parkinson’s, immune conditions and cancer.”

Malcolm Skingle, director of academic liaison at GSK, said that by working with the university “we’re making inroads in our understanding of a broad range of chronic diseases, and we believe that by continuing our work together we’ll be able to accelerate the translation of this knowledge in to new treatments for patients”.