Drug discovery is complex, costly and requires many skills. The industry has moved from a fully integrated model to one which is performed through a ‘virtual’, or fully outsourced approach. It is also increasingly reliant on SMEs as a source of innovation. However, 42% of biotech SMEs have fewer than 5 employees and require access to the very best scientific expertise and technology.
To address this, Medicines Discovery Catapult established the Virtual R&D Discovery Services platform that leverages Medicines Discovery Catapult’s extensive drug discovery expertise and relationships to match UK SMEs with the best Contract Research Organisations (CROs).
The Discovery Services platform – launched in partnership with twenty-two UK CROs – combines full service and specialist private sector CROs and expert labs providing medicines discovery expertise, drug discovery services, and state-of-the-art assays.
This approach means that high-quality drug discovery projects are channelled through best-in-class service providers, whilst also providing CROs in the platform with the benefit of deeper market penetration and access to new customers they would not have previously reached.