Drug discovery

On 17 October 2016, the Academy of Medical Sciences' FORUM and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) held a joint workshop to explore the 'The UK drug discovery landscape'.


The way that drug discovery is conducted in the UK  is changing, with a move towards more collaboration and increasing open innovation, a trend being mirrored on a global scale. While this shift provides significant opportunities for the UK to continue to excel in drug development, to fully benefit we will need to adapt to the challenges that may arise from a changing landscape.

Therefore on the 17 October 2016, the Academy and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) held a joint FORUM workshop to explore 'The UK drug discovery landscape'. Delegates were convened from across the life sciences sector to identify challenges, gaps and opportunities in drug discovery, using an ABPI report describing the changes that have taken place in UK drug discovery as an evidence base for discussion. The meeting report can be downloaded from the righthand side of this page.

Key themes emerging from the meeting included:

  • The importance of cross-sector collaboration and a multi-disciplinary approach to drug discovery, with further integration required across industry, academia and the broader healthcare system.
  • The need to continue to attract more international and private (venture capital) funding for discovery in the UK.
  • The importance of building capacity and capability across sectors to ensure the availability and sustainability of skillsets integral to discovery science.
  • The significant value of a diverse drug discovery ecosystem in the UK and recognition of the important roles of different stakeholders, and the need to align and communicate practice, expectations and needs across sectors.

We are currently undertaking some follow-up work in collaboration with key funders based around the next steps within the meeting report.

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