UCB has announced the successful completion of its first fully automated lead discovery experiment, achieved in collaboration with Cyclofluidic and its technology platform.

The Cyclofluidic Integrated Discovery Platform (CIDP) has been produced to design, make and screen potential drug molecules against selected targets, significantly accelerating the new drug discovery process.

The successful completion was achieved with a target called Thrombin, a molecule associated with strokes, just over three years since Cyclofluidic’s founding in 2008.

The technology platform is designed to allow researchers to test potential new medicines in a shorter time and at cheaper expense in comparison to the 10-15 years and up to £1bn it can currently take to develop a new medication.

The CIDP uses microfluidic technology, online biochemical assays and automated drug design algorithms to create and screen potential drug molecules, reducing the learning cycle phase of drug development and integrating the processes, allowing molecules to be assayed in minutes rather than weeks.

The UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board has co-funded Cyclofluidic’s research and development, whilst also facilitating an innovative partnership between UCB and Pfizer relating to lead molecule discovery.

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UCB Chemistry vice president, Dr Warrelow, said: "To have achieved this within three years is extremely exciting and offers the promise of further ground-breaking science that could significantly impact small molecule drug discovery in the years ahead."