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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W001233/1
Title: Development of an Integrated Microfluidic Platform for the Identification of Therapeutic Peptides for Unmet Medical Needs
Principal Investigator: Spring, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2021 Ends: 30 September 2023 Value (£): 444,689
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biological & Medicinal Chem. Drug Formulation & Delivery
Microsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Aug 2021 Healthcare Technologies Investigator Led Panel Aug 2021 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Pharmaceutical industries have recognised the importance of cell-permeable peptides to cure currently untreatable diseases. In fact, peptides can interact with targets that other type of molecules cannot, such as protein-protein interactions which play crucial roles in the generation and progression of many diseases. However, peptides also have major limitations that hamper their use as drugs. Among these is their inability to efficiently interact with intracellular targets leaving many unmet medical needs.

We propose to develop an integrated platform to generate and screen libraries of peptides to rapidly and cost-effectively identify new drugs for those untapped intracellular targets. In the first phase of the proposed research, we will focus our efforts on building such a platform, and in the second phase we will validate it using two different intracellular targets with relevance in cancer and cystic fibrosis.

A successful outcome to this project will result in a significant advance in the drug-discovery field as current peptide technologies can only access extracellular targets, ignoring those 75% located intracellularly. Therefore, our technology has the potential to provide patients with life-changing medicines for currently untreatable diseases or for diseases with limited therapeutic options available.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk