Medical Research Council and UCB link up to offer access to UCB’s antibody discovery platform

MRC scientists will be able to assess more than one billion antibody producing B-cells

The UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) and Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB are to collaborate to provide UK scientists with access to technologies to discover new monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies will enable scientists to research the mechanisms of human disease, identify novel therapeutic opportunities, and may provide the initial starting points for new treatments, the MRC said.

Under the joint initiative, which will initially run for three years, scientists from both organisations will be able to access and apply UCB’s high-throughput antibody screening capabilities. MRC-funded scientists will be able to sample the immune repertoire, potentially assessing more than one billion antibody-producing B-cells, to find those rare cells that generate an antibody with the exact functional properties required to inhibit the relevant disease process.

The MRC and UCB will support up to five projects a year. UK-based academics will be able to submit research proposals to the MRC later this year and these will be independently assessed to select the best proposals.

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