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Turning leading research into novel medicines

2 November 2017

Picture of Professor Simon Ward and Professor John Atack

Cardiff University is about to boost its ability to turn leading biomedical research into novel drugs, as it becomes the home of the highly successful Medicines Discovery Institute.

Led by Professor Simon Ward and Professor John Atack, the Institute will bring unrivalled knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector and proven success in bringing new medicines successfully to clinic.

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, said: "With research strength in areas such as immunity, neuroscience, oncology and infectious disease, Cardiff University is an ideal home for the ambitious Medicines Discovery Institute..."

"This new string to our bow will provide vital links between our researchers and the pharmaceutical industry and better allow us to translate our cutting-edge research into real products that can improve the lives of people all over the world, whilst putting Wales at the forefront of medical innovation."

Professor Colin Riordan Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru scheme, the Medicines Discovery Institute will address a key challenge in the Welsh Government’s strategy for science and innovation by developing novel drugs for neuroscience, cancer and infection and immunity. The initiative complements and extends long-standing drug discovery work at Cardiff, particularly in the areas of cancer and infection. This includes work supported recently by Welsh Government under the highly successful Life Sciences National Research Network scheme in drug discovery, hosted by Cardiff University.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport Vaughan Gething said: "I am delighted to support this exciting new initiative. It reflects Welsh Government’s commitment to supporting innovative research across sectors, in ways that will have a positive impact on the health, well-being and prosperity of the people in Wales."

Professor Simon Ward, Co-Director of the Medicines Discovery Institute, said: "We aim to make the Medicines Discovery Institute a focal point for medicines discovery and innovation within Cardiff University and the wider UK academic community. Moreover, it will also become a catalyst for spin-out companies and academic-industrial collaborations that will develop new medicines bearing an ‘invented in Cardiff’ hallmark all the way from the lab to the pill bottle..."

"There is a genuine collaborative spirit within Cardiff University and a very clear vision for medicines discovery that is shared not only by our new scientific colleagues but also by the Vice-Chancellor and his senior leadership team."

Professor Simon Ward Director, Medicines Discovery Institute

Located within the highly successful School of Biosciences, the new institute will also provide an excellent opportunity for training and inspiring the next generation of medicines discovery scientists.

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