Faster discovery of new, safer medicines and a reduction in animal research are among potential outcomes of a new £8million fund to stimulate research into safety biomarkers. The fund, set up by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), has been warmly welcomed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
Biomarkers are an emerging science which will help assess and predict toxicology and adverse side effects of potential medicines in pre-clinical research. Use of these techniques will help companies identify compounds for elimination at an earlier stage – saving on costs of research, speeding up medicine development and contributing to a reduction in animal research.
The DTI fund will support collaborative projects from industrial and academic scientists and help share and consolidate information so a uniform standard in identifying and analysing biomarkers can be achieved.
ABPI Director of Science & Technology, Dr Philip Wright said: “The ABPI jointly developed this idea with the DTI and warmly welcomes the decision to put in this funding. This represents an opportunity to capture expertise in this very new science within the UK, while also contributing in the long term to patient safety.”