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The Centre for Medicines Discovery (CMD) and CAMS Oxford Institute (COI) at NDM, has recently partnered with Ono Pharmaceutical Co (Ono) to validate and develop novel targets in a bid to discover innovative medicines.

In this partnership, Ono has selected neuroscience as the first research theme, one of four key research focus areas and an area of expertise at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute (ODDI), which is embedded in the CMD. ODDI will perform target validation experiments and ligand identification. Ono will then use ODDI's results, including hit compounds, to develop and bring new drug candidates to market.

The ODDI is part of the Centre for Medicines Discovery at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, and focuses on translational research and early drug discovery. It possesses highly original seed projects and drug discovery capabilities, based on its researchers’ expertise in neuropathology and structural biology, methodologies ideally suited to the exploration of difficult drug targets. 

Prof John Davis, Professor of Pharmaceutical Discovery, ARUK Oxford  Drug Discovery Institute, said: ‘We are delighted to be starting this strategic collaboration with Ono Pharmaceutical Co, to validate new therapeutic approaches across a range of different unmet medical needs. Combining innovative academic research together with the development insights and capability of pharmaceutical industry partners is key to unlocking the potential of new research findings’.

John contacted COI Prinicipal Investigator, Dr Adan Pinto-Fernandez, to collaborate on the project due to his experience working with companies on translational studies of the ubiquitin system and using deubiquitylating enzymes as a therapeutic target. Adan said: "We are thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate with esteemed researchers at CMD and ODDI, in conjunction with the pharmaceutical company Ono Therapeutics, to target the ubiquitin system in the central nervous system (CNS). Leveraging our expertise in Translational Ubiquitomics, we aim to elucidate the therapeutic implications of our identified targets".