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article imageMedicines Discovery Institute aims to bring new drugs to patients

By Tim Sandle     Mar 22, 2019 in Health
Cardiff - A new research centre based in the U.K. called the Medicines Discovery Institute aims to bring a new generation of medicines to patients by pioneering the latest in biomedical and pharmacological research techniques.
The Medicines Discovery Institute has been developed by academics from Cardiff University. The focus of the institute will be with a new generation of medicines for mental health and central nervous system conditions. This is an area regarded to be relatively poorly served in terms of clinical need.
Support for the Medicines Discovery Institute comes from a consortium of governmental bodies, including the devolved Welsh Government, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the European Regional Development Fund. These bodies, together with Cardiff University, have ploughed in £14 million ($19 million) into the project.
The Institute is located within the university, at the School of Biosciences. As well as research, the institute will help to train undergraduates and post-graduate students to become leaders as medicines discovery scientists.
One of the fist research areas that the new centre will consider is with developing anti-anxiety medications. There has been little development in this area in terms of new medication. This research topic is to be supported by a grant of £3.5 million ($5 million) from the Medical Research Council.
A second research area will seek to improve upon medications for those with fragile X syndrome. Fragile X syndrome co-occurs with autism in many cases and is a suspected genetic cause of the autism in these cases.
This is an inherited cause of several types of learning disabilities. The research will look at a protein which regulates the connections between nerve cells. The goal will be to come up with a medication that can address issues with the protein.
As well as looking into these initial research areas and helping to develop a new generation of scientists with specific skills, it is hoped that the project will help boost the standing of Wales as a scientific area of excellence.
Commenting on the new institute, Welsh government Education Minister, Kirsty Williams stated: “Investing in new scientific research is vital to our universities and the long-term health of the wider Welsh economy. The Medicines Discovery Institute will provide the world-class facilities needed to support pioneering research and further develop our capacity to produce exciting and often life-changing research here in Wales.”
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