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The establishment of a world class European apoptosis and anticancer drug discovery capability through transfer of knowledge and integration of assay development, screening and medicinal chemistry


Apoptosis is a highly regulated mechanism used by cells to counterbalance the ongoing process of mitosis. Dys-regulation of this delicate balance is involved in many human diseases, and is central to the genesis and progression of cancer. Advancing the research of apoptosis is of critical importance in the development of novel therapies, with over 1.5 million people dying as a result of cancer in Europe and America each year.

While apoptosis holds much promise, the complexity of its biology and lack of translation from bench to clinic has limited its potential thus far. Prof. Tom Cotter, a European leader the apoptosis field, founded EiRx Therapeutics plc. EiRx has established a reputation of cutting edge applied research and has identified circa 200 genes that functionally regulate apoptosis in cancer. To translate these targets to chemical molecules in the clinic would be to unlock the real value from EiRx's research, this requires a world-class Drug Discovery capability.

This proposal describes how EiRx will transfer and integrate specialist industrial Drug Discovery knowledge (not currently found in the host country) with its already world-class apoptosis biology, to take its research all the way to the clinic. Specifically, this requires recruiting a very senior Assay Development and Screening Scientist, a Biochemist, and a Medicinal Chemist over a three-year period. By linking biology with chemistry, this multidisciplinary team will significantly advance European apoptosis research and advance new treatments for cancer.

Call for proposal

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