MRC Technology signs licensing agreement with Genentech


Exclusive licence to small molecules for treatment of neurological disease

MRC Technology (UK) has granted Genentech, a division of the Roche Group, an exclusive licence to a series of small molecule drug candidates for the treatment of neurological disease.

As part of the agreement, MRC Technology will receive an upfront payment from Genentech as well as clinical development milestone payments and sales royalties. Full financial terms and the target of the small molecule project have not been disclosed.

This is the first small molecule chemistry programme to come out of MRC Technology\'s Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD) and the first major small molecule collaboration the CTD has formed with an industry partner.

Working with investigators funded through the UK\'s Medical Research Council, the CTD initiated a small molecule drug discovery programme that included medicinal chemistry, biology, analytical and DMPK Computational Chemistry.

CTD was formed a year ago from the MRC Technology Drug Discovery Group, expanding its capability to provide the UK with a national drug discovery resource with the critical mass to progress high-quality projects to the clinic.

MRC Technology works with targets from the UK\'s Medical Research Council and also has a pipeline of targets from academic institutions worldwide.

Dr Dave Tapolczay, chief executive of MRC Technology, said: ‘This licensing deal is just one example of the innovative ways that MRC Technology is now exploiting both its small molecule and therapeutic antibody capabilities.

‘We can collaborate with other technology transfer organisations, on a shared risk basis, to develop small molecule drug discovery programmes and targets with therapeutic potential. When the resulting clinical candidate is subsequently licensed, both parties will not only accomplish their translational research aims, but also share in its commercial success going forward.’