News Feature | May 1, 2014

£8m Investment To Establish Drug Research Center In Dundee

By Marcus Johnson

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An £8m investment has helped to fund the establishment of a new robotic drug treatment lab at the University of Dundee. The facility will be a phenotypic screening center dedicated to determining how certain drugs affect organisms at a basic, cellular level.

In recent years, phenotypic screening has become a more popular method for discovering and designing new drugs because it allows researchers the ability to focus on more than a single drug target at once. It is thought to be a quicker and a more cost effective process than the traditional drug discovery program, which has tremendously low success rates in addition to high rates of failure in late stage trials.

The funding was delivered from the Scottish Funding Council to the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance, and researchers expect it to help develop new drugs and treatments for patients. Researchers hope to undertake genetic engineering, stem cell technology, and cell and organ culture system projects at the new phenotypic screening center.

Education Minister Michael Russell released a statement regarding the center’s funding. “Today's announcement of £8m for new equipment will put Scottish universities at the forefront of drug discovery world-wide. This is a hugely exciting development for the development of new medicines worldwide,” said Russell.

According to Russel, this new center will be working with several of Europe's top pharmaceutical companies in an effort to expand novel therapy research and development. This new investment will also help expand Scotland’s presence in the global R&D field. 

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