Drug Discovery Unit Life Sciences

A fully integrated drug discovery centre working across multiple disease areas.

We collaborate with partners to translate world-class biology research into novel drug targets and candidate drugs to address unmet medical needs across our two areas of activity, Anti-Infectives Drug Discovery and Innovative Targets Portfolio.

Learn about DDU

Bridging the gap between academic scientific research and commercial drug discovery and development.

Our mission is to make the translation of life sciences research into therapeutic applications efficient and successful.

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Drug Discovery Unit Laboratory

A groundbreaking portfolio of small molecule drug discovery

The DDU was established in 2006 to translate world‐class biology research into new de-risked drug targets and candidate drugs.

We are working on a broad pipeline of small molecule drug discovery projects across 4 main anti-infectives drug discovery portfolios; Kinetoplastids, Apicomplexans, TB, COVID, and the Innovative Targets Portfolio covering many therapeutic areas.

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A highly capabile team working from a fully integrated drug discovery centre

The DDU is widely recognised as the most developed and complete drug discovery engine working across multiple therapeutic areas in UK academia.

Hit Discovery

  • A comprehensive range of liquid handling and detector technologies; including nanoliter dispensing
  • Protein and cell-based screening
  • High content imageing
  • Fragment-based screening: SPR, NMD and Octet RED384
  • Industry-standard data management - ActivityBase, Dotmatics

Learn more about DDU's Hit Discovery capabilities

Bioinformatics

  • Statistics, computational science, databases, algorithms
  • Management and analysis of biological data
  • Mapping, analysing and aligning DNA and protein sequences
  • Building 3D models of protein structures

Structural Biology

  • State-of-the art protein crystallography infrastructure
  • SPR: hit validation and determining enzyme kinetics

Computational Drug Design

  • Druggability assessment of molecular targets
  • Library selection
  • Ritual screening
  • Analysis of hits from screening
  • Pharmacophore searching
  • Compound design using protein structures
  • In silica ADMET optimisation

Medicinal Chemistry

  • Hit validation to lead optimisation
  • Parallel chemistry
  • Mass directed auto-prep HPLC purification

Learn more about DDU's Medicinal Chemistry capabilities

Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics

  • Integrated DMPK group
  • Supports hit and lead optimisation programmes
  • Industry standard in vitro and in vivo assays
  • State-of-the-art UPLC-MS/MS

Learn more about DDU's DMPK capabilities

Proudly backed by the partners who make our groundbreaking research possible

These are only a handful of our partners that make it possible for our team to perform the small molecule drug discovery that is improving our world, not just in the UK but across the globe.

Meet our Partners

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