News archive 2008
Major drug discovery grant10 Mar 2008, PR 46/08
Researchers at King’s College London have been awarded a highly prestigious Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery grant. The award of £3.1 million will be used to develop a new drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
The research will be led by Dr Jonathan Corcoran, Research Fellow in the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, and builds on the work done by him and Malcolm Maden, Professor of Developmental Biology over the last 10 years. Dr Corcoran’s research has focussed on the role of retinoid signalling, in neurodegeneration including Alzheimer’s disease.
The award will allow preclinical development of promising drug candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. King’s College London is a global leader in research around neurodegenerative diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease in particular. Due to the increase in the aging population, the incidence of this condition will become higher in coming years.
There are very few effective treatments for the disease, and existing drugs only serve to provide short-term alleviation of symptoms. It is hoped the research undertaken during the award will lead to therapeutic compounds with the ability to modify the underlying process of Alzheimer’s disease, and so provide long-term improvements for patients.
Dr Corcoran said 'This Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery award will allow us to push ahead with an exciting prospect for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The substantial support given by the Wellcome Trust will be used in a drug discovery program to develop novel retinoids which will be disease-modifying, in that it they will arrest the actual pathology of the disease, which is in contrast to existing treatments which delay disease progression'.
The research will take place over the next three years in the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases, and will involve collaborations with other research organisations including an extensive medicinal chemistry program. The successful application was supported by King’s College London Business Ltd, who act as co-applicant on the award.
Dr Alison Campbell, Managing Director of King’s Business, noted 'We are delighted that the Wellcome Trust has made this award to Dr Corcoran and King’s College London. We are looking forward to working with Dr Corcoran and the Wellcome Trust to bring the new compounds through development and to a stage where they are ready for clinical trials with a commercial partner'.
Notes to editors
King’s College London Business Ltd
King’s College London Business is the wholly-owned subsidiary company of King’s College London, responsible for the commercial development of research and innovation at King’s. Responsive to the needs of business and industry, the King’s Business team leads the licensing of new technologies, supports creations of new business ventures, engages consultancy services and develops new business partnerships. King’s Business promotes knowledge creation with the College across a variety of sectors including industry, commerce, the public sector and creative and cultural organisations.
The Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is the largest charity in the UK. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending around £650 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing. http://www.wellcome.ac.uk
King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher 2007) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has 19,700 students from more than 140 countries, and 5,400 employees. King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. The College is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings and has an annual income of approximately £400 million. An investment of £500 million has been made in the redevelopment of its estate.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, the health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres - more than any other university.
Kate Moore, Public Relations Officer (Health Schools)
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