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LAB282 - Accelerating drug discovery at Oxford to benefit patients, healthcare and society Oxford University, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford Sciences Innovation and Evotec announce a new partnership to advance the development of next-generation medicines arising from Oxford research.

Man and woman in lab © John Cairns

Called ‘LAB282’, the partnership will provide a £13m fund, open now to biomedical researchers at Oxford, and an expert in residence in the University to aid the rapid translation of research outputs into new drug discovery and development programmes.

The ultimate goal of LAB282 is to accelerate the development of new treatments and cures for serious and debilitating disease. These will help patients live longer and better lives, reduce the burden on global healthcare systems, and promote economic growth.

LAB282 is a unique public-private partnership between the University of Oxford (the world’s number one ranked university), Oxford University Innovation Ltd, OUI, (the university’s research commercialisation company), Oxford Sciences Innovation plc, OSI, (the world’s largest IP investment company dedicated to a single university), and Evotec AG (a drug discovery organisation with a track record of innovative academic partnerships).

New projects will be sourced across any therapeutic area and for any therapeutic modality exclusively from Oxford University researchers via OUI. Funding will come from OSI, and Evotec will contribute its drug discovery expertise and platforms to select projects and develop them.

Under the terms of the agreement, researchers may opt to apply for awards of up to £250k (and more in exceptional circumstances). Sourcing and positioning of new projects for support from LAB282 will be aided by a drug discovery expert in residence seconded from Evotec, embedded in the university.

Should projects funded by LAB282 yield positive results, spinout companies from the university will be formed to further develop new therapies, supported by the LAB282 partners and/or new investors.

The LAB282 partnership is for an initial period of 3 years.

Dr Adam Stoten, Head of Technology Transfer, Life Sciences at OUI commented “This pioneering approach addresses a major unmet need by engaging LAB282’s partners, together offering world class medical research, commercial drug discovery expertise and facilities, and significant investment resources. Today’s announcement provides another great example of how UK universities are at the forefront of collaborative public-private drug discovery partnerships with the goal of changing the course of human health in the interest of patients, healthcare and the economy”

Professor Matthew Wood, Associate Head of Medical Sciences Division (Research) at Oxford University, said “LAB282 represents an important innovation for Oxford in maximising the impact of public funding in medical sciences. As the number one ranked medical school in the world it is critically important that the quality of our research is matched by high quality translational support which increases the likelihood of future societal benefits”

Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “LAB282 is a highly innovative partnership that elegantly combines core strengths of academia, biotech, venture capital and strong links to Pharma under one “roof”.  Casting a wide net in terms of indications and technologies it is designed to accelerate in particular first-in-class and potentially disruptive early stage projects to value inflection points that will facilitate the formation of companies. We are very proud to be part of this exciting endeavour with such highly distinguished partners and are convinced that this model will become a blueprint of effectively and efficiently translating academic science into highly differentiated product opportunities.

Andrew McLean, Principal Investor, OSI, said: “There are so many incredible and potentially life-changing ideas being fostered across Oxford University and we are delighted to be part of this unique partnership to nourish these ideas into leading companies that will have a positive impact on patients”

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