Medical Research Council Collaboration
Between 2014 and 2018, Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies collaborated with the UK-based Medical Research Council (MRC) to make available a ‘virtual library’ of compounds for use by academic researchers in the UK.1,2,3
The library was made up of a number of deprioritised compounds and included both clinical (those already tested in humans) and preclinical compounds, which had been initially developed for a wide range of diseases including for cancer, respiratory disease, inflamatory diseases, mental health conditions and diabetes.1,2,3
Supplied by AstraZenca, GSK, J&J, Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda and UCB, the compounds underwent some form of industry development, but all stalled at some point in early testing – often because they are not sufficiently effective against the disease in question. However, these compounds may still be valuable to researchers, who can use them for studies with other diseases.1,2,3
To date, the MRC has invited UK scientists to apply to access the compounds in medical research studies on three separate occasions in 2014, 2016 and 2018.1,2,3 The most recent call for applications in 2018, provided access to 24 deprioritised compounds provided by AstraZenca, Pfizer, Takeda and J&J.3
One of Pfizer's compounds was selected by the University of Oxford in a study investigating potential anti-despressants.4
It’s hoped that by making these compounds available to a wider community of researchers, it could lead to the development of new medicines for a variety of conditions.
In 2015 we joined ADDoPT, a 4 year £20.4 million collaborative project between government, pharmaceutical companies, SME's and academia.
We are part of a collaboration that aims to speed up the exome sequencing of 500,000 UK participants.