Strathclyde joins global network dedicated to accelerating breakthroughs in human health

Aerial view of the University of Strathclyde campus

The University of Strathclyde is part of a global network aimed at achieving breakthroughs in human health over a decade.

Strathclyde has become a member of the Wellcome Leap Health Breakthrough Network, which is the world’s largest and fastest “activatable” health research network.

Wellcome Leap is a non-profit organization founded by the Wellcome Trust to achieve breakthroughs in human health.

Strathclyde is one of 14 UK institutions registered with the network.

Network participants are committed to solving the world’s most serious health problems, such as cancer and infectious diseases, at record speed.

Currently, finalizing a research funding agreement can take up to a year, and where collaboration is required, work often cannot begin until all parties have been signed, which further extend the deadline. Moreover, the key elements needed to catalyze innovation sometimes come from individual researchers or from smaller institutions that are often excluded from large research initiatives. Breakthroughs require diverse momentum and capabilities, wherever they exist in the world.

The Wellcome Leap Health Breakthrough Network will help break down barriers to progress through the first Academic Research Funding Agreement (MARFA), which equitably addresses all terms, including intellectual property (IP), ownership and publication . Once an organization has signed the MARFA, any researcher or group will only need to negotiate the statement of work and costs before funds can be passed on and work can begin often within days, which reduces development time by months or more.

Strathclyde Senior Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “I am delighted that Strathclyde is joining Wellcome Leap, which will make a big difference to the drug discovery and development process and ensure the rapid delivery of treatments to patients. patients from all over the world.

“We are a leading international technology university committed to finding solutions to major global challenges and as such we are well placed to be active in this network.

“Accelerating drug discovery and development has always been at the heart of the work of, for example, the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, the Center for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallization and the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, of which we are the strategic research partner. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how urgently new effective treatments are needed and Wellcome Leap will play an important role in delivering this for a wide range of conditions.

Strathclyde’s first successful funding offer through Wellcome Leap is for the R3 project, led by Professor Harris Makatsoris of King’s College London’s Department of Engineering. The project will develop “micro-factories” to power the global network for manufacturing RNA (ribonucleic acid) products. Professor Yvonne Perrie, Director of the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, is the Strathclyde Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator on the project.

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