The scheme has been launched by MRC Technology to provide academics with a high quality compound library for screening, to reduce academic spend on libraries less suited to screening, and to encourage groups to tap into MRC Technology’s drug discovery expertise for research programmes.
Under the terms of the scheme, participating academics will receive the 9,000 compounds in plate format and in return MRC Technology will have first refusal on collaboration agreements for any drug development programmes resulting from screens of the compound library. Assay data will be jointly owned by MRC Technology and the research institute, giving MRC Technology a better understanding of how its library is performing against a diverse range of targets and enabling further enhancement of the library through an iterative process.
MRC Technology’s compound library has been built and curated by its medicinal chemistry and computational chemistry scientists. The library includes 100,000 high quality, diverse, drug-like compounds with hit-like properties, with an additional 50,000 compounds in subsets targeted to specific protein classes. The 9,000 compounds available through the scheme have been chosen to represent a cross-section of the full library. Institutes joining the scheme will also benefit from access to advice on suitable assay design and screening formats, and optimisation of screening hits, from MRC Technology’s team of scientists.
“We have seen an increase in assay throughput within academic research institutes, due to the availability of affordable small-scale robotics,” said Justin Bryans, Director of Drug Discovery at MRC Technology. “By offering access to our compound library with no fees attached, our aim is to stimulate drug discovery within the academic field by enabling these laboratories to carry out high quality, medium throughput screens and to potentially further develop any hits in collaboration with MRCT.”