A new international collaboration is set to uncover ground-breaking therapeutic-based discoveries and help progress them to the next crucial stage in their development.

UniQuest and UCL Business PLC (UCLB), the respective commercialisation companies of The University of Queensland (UQ) and University College London (UCL), have entered in to an agreement to identify and support research projects between the two universities.

Both companies will also provide funding support to help progress selected drug discovery projects with commercial potential to proof of concept stage – either to demonstrate commercial value or attract further translational funding and investment towards their development and subsequent commercial partnering.

UQ’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Monique Skidmore said the collaboration will help to further strengthen the relationship between the two important global universities with similar strengths and aspirations and a long history of combined research and discovery across multiple disciplines.

“This agreement will bring our talented researchers together, deepen our cooperation on the international stage enabling a powerful collaboration between two leading research institutions,” Professor Skidmore said.

“We look forward to building further on this.”

UniQuest’s CEO, Dr Dean Moss said both UQ and UCL have leading reputations in life science research.

“Like UniQuest, UCLB has a demonstrated track record in the commercialisation of life science projects and this partnership is part of our overarching strategy of building critical mass in a drug discovery and development pipeline for commercialisation.

“We are excited about helping to translate joint projects towards commercial outcomes,” Dr Moss said.

Mr Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director of UCLB also welcomed the new collaboration.

“We are delighted to be working with UniQuest to identify joint projects in which we will collaborate delivering new treatments to patients across the world.”

Dame Nicola Brewer UCL Vice-Provost (International) added “Partnership is at the heart of UCL’s new Global Engagement Strategy so we’re delighted to be embarking on such an innovative and inspiring collaboration with the University of Queensland that has the potential to positively impact on many lives.”

Two initial collaborative projects addressing the research areas of pain and epilepsy have been identified and will receive the proof of concept funding under the agreement.

The agreement follows the recent announcement that the Queensland Government, UQ and UniQuest will provide funding to establish and operate the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative.  To be based at UQ and managed by UniQuest, QEDDI is a new drug discovery capability that will translate academic drug discovery into drug candidates.

Mr Nick McInnes, British Consul-General & Director General, UK Trade & Investment Australia and New Zealand said he was delighted to see the collaboration formalised.

“This collaboration signifies both the breadth and depth of the life sciences sectors in the UK and Australia and the strong relationships that exist between Australia and the United Kingdom,” Mr McInnes said.

“UK Trade & Investment are delighted to support The University of Queensland, and its commercialisation company UniQuest, foster even closer ties with companies and academia in the UK, and I am certain that this is just the beginning of an ongoing and prosperous relationship.”

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