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Queen Mary University of London joins $20m drug discovery partnership

Queen Mary University of London has joined a major drug discovery partnership – beLAB1407

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Bringing together drug discovery company Evotec, pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squib, and leading British universities, the $20 million (£16m) beLAB1407 partnership seeks to identify novel disease modifying therapeutic targets and platforms early on, and to develop them into new biotech spinouts.

Phil Clare, Chief Executive of Queen Mary Innovation, comments:

“We’re delighted to be joining this exciting partnership, sharing expertise to discover new drugs and bringing them to patients through creating spinouts. Queen Mary University of London is home to one of Britain’s biggest research and teaching hospitals, making us an ideal partner in turning academic research into real world impact.” 

The beLAB1407 partnership provides funding, technology platforms and mentoring to achieve pre-clinical proof of concept for novel therapeutics originating from universities which can form the basis of new biotech companies. Projects can access up to $1.5m (£1.2m) of funding from the partnership. The main therapeutic areas are solid tumours, haematology, inflammation, neuroscience and cardiovascular.

Amrita Ahluwalia, Queen Mary’s Dean for Medicine and Dentistry Research, comments:

“Spinouts and licenses are ideal vehicles for turning academic research into real world impact for patients, so we’re excited to be working alongside Evotec and other university partners to create more of them and to do so faster.” 

Other universities in this partnership include Birmingham, Dundee, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Bristol, and Glasgow.

Dr Thomas Hanke, EVP Head of Academic Partnerships at Evotec, said: 

“UK universities are sources of proven high-quality research to elucidate new therapeutic targets, platforms and candidates. Each of our new university partners brings an impressive biomedical research track record to the table and -through beLAB1407- we look forward to supporting them building strong  translational foundations for projects with the potential to yield first-in-class therapies that can positively impact patient care.”

Queen Mary University of London is ranked 7th in Britain in the Research Excellence Framework and achieved top category for commercialisation and intellectual property in the Knowledge Exchange Framework. Located between the City and Canary Wharf, the university contributed £4.4 billion to the economy in 2021-22, £1.44 billion of which came from research and knowledge exchange.


If you're a Queen Mary researcher, contact Queen Mary Innovation's BioPharma team to discuss how your research could benefit from this partnership.

Stay up to date with Queen Mary spinouts by following QMI on LinkedIn.

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