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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S035990/1
Title: Accelerated Discovery and Development of New Medicines: Prosperity Partnership for a Healthier Nation
Principal Investigator: Kerr, Professor WJ
Other Investigators:
Ozcan, Professor E Irvine, Professor DJ Johnston, Professor BF
Moody, Professor CJ Berlouis, Dr L George, Professor M
Hayes, Professor CJ Tomkinson, Professor NCO Hirst, Professor J
Licence, Professor P Sans Sangorrin, Dr V Brown, Dr C
Palmer, Dr DS Denton, Professor RM Jamieson, Dr C
Murphy, Professor JA Woodward, Professor S Roberts, Professor C
Florence, Professor AJ Wildman, Professor R Croft, Professor AK
Lam, Professor HW Ball, Dr L Stocks, Professor MJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Added Scientific Ltd Applied Materials GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK)
Key Organics Ltd Strem Chemicals UK Ltd
Department: Pure and Applied Chemistry
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 30 September 2024 Value (£): 5,592,739
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Biological & Medicinal Chem.
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Chemical Synthetic Methodology
Drug Formulation & Delivery Electrochemical Science & Eng.
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Physical Organic Chemistry
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Chemicals
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
GSK is a global healthcare company that discovers, develops and manufactures medicines to treat a range of conditions including: respiratory diseases, cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, bacterial and viral infections (such as HIV and lupus), and skin conditions like psoriasis. GSK makes over 4 billion packs of medicines each year, with the goal of playing its part in meeting some of society's biggest healthcare challenges.

Alongside a mission to provide transformative medicines to patients, GSK continually seeks to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our processes across the discovery, manufacturing, and delivery components of our supply chain. Indeed, GSK are committed to ambitious sustainability goals by 2050 that can only be achieved by making existing and future medicines via better routes, driving innovation all the way from the first design of the molecule through to patients in the clinic.

This Prosperity Partnership aims to build on existing vibrant collaborations between GSK and the Universities of Nottingham and Strathclyde. The strengths of each partner will be leveraged to deliver a new suite of methods and approaches to tackle some of the major challenges in the discovery, development, and manufacture of medicines. Our vision is to increase efficiency in terms of atoms, energy, and time; resulting in transformative medicines at lower costs, reduced waste production, and shorter manufacturing routes.

Key challenge areas, or themes, covered in our partnership include:

1. The development and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to the efficient identification of next generation medicines: in Drug Discovery, many hundreds of candidate structures are designed, prepared, and tested to find the molecule with the right profile to take into the clinic. The development of AI informed decision making has the potential to deliver huge savings by minimising the number of compounds that need to be made at this stage. The software developed will incorporate green chemistry principles with the goal that the chemical methods employed are as efficient and sustainable as possible.

2. Next generation catalysis and synthesis: Chemists seeking to discover new medicines need new reactions that will allow them to make and investigate structures that are currently difficult, or even impossible, to make. A key objective of this proposal will be to develop new reagents, catalysts, and reactions to facilitate the more efficient preparation of drug-like molecules to accelerate drug discovery. Similarly, we will develop new ways of performing some of the most common chemical transformations in the synthesis of medicines whilst avoiding the use of carcinogenic reagents.

3. Sustainable processes that deliver efficiency and transition to scale-up from grammes to kilogrammes. Currently under-utilised approaches, such as electrochemistry, will be explored for their ability to catalyse reactions with cheaper and less environmentally impactful metals, such as replacing palladium with nickel.

4. A new Digital Design toolset for equipment will enable Digital Manufacturing of novel pharmaceutical processing equipment. Current development relies on existing traditional vessels and flow reactors that compromise our ability to deliver processes that operate at optimal performance. The research will couple advanced process models, state-of-the-art experimentation, and 3-D printing/additive manufacturing technologies to revolutionise how we develop, scale up, and operate chemical processes to supply new medicines.

Integration of the projects and the expertise from the three partner institutions, and the successful prosecution of our research objectives, will make a major contribution to the wider pharmaceutical sector and, indeed, GSK's mission of discovering and developing transformative medicines faster to help people do more, feel better, and live longer.
Key Findings
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk