The Drug Discovery Unit now occupies purpose-built chemistry and biology laboratories at Alderley Park, with the direct proximity of the labs facilitating the cross-disciplinary interactions critical to the success of the unit. The unit offers > 25 fumehoods for synthetic and medicinal chemistry, alongside fully functional tissue culture suites and facilities for the development and automation of a wide variety of biochemical and cellular investigations, specifically tailored toward drug discovery.
We have invested heavily in technologies which have made major impacts on the success and efficiency of drug discovery and which enhance the quality of the data we produce, such as a fully automated acoustic dispensing platform (which facilitates medium-throughput screening) and the implementation of an integrated chemo- and bio-informatics system, to ensure we make the best decisions and act in a timely fashion on the data we generate. Alongside more traditional tools, the laboratory is also equipped with its own state-of-the-art analytical and preparative scale LC-MS facilities, automated compound purification systems, a microwave synthesiser and NMR machine to support our chemistry team, alongside multi-format plate readers and forefront protein analysis systems to support our biologists. Furthermore, we have also invested in state-of-the-art imaging facilities to provide robust, high quality data in a variety of formats from both our cell-based and in vivo experiments.
Our discovery efforts are further supported through the use of molecular modelling and structure-guided drug design technologies, to assist in the design and prioritisation of compounds which test specific biological hypotheses. These approaches also allow the generation of novel start points for our drug discovery programmes and allow us the opportunity to prosecute challenging areas of target biology, such as protein-protein interactions and allosteric modulation of biological pathways.