University of Dundee

University of Dundee enters into a collaboration agreement with TPP Global Development to establish a drug development fund

27 Oct 2011

The University of Dundee has announced a collaboration agreement with TPP Global Development Ltd to establish a drug development fund.

The fund, which will be known as the Target Development Fund, has been set up with the support of TPP Global Development (TPP), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the University of Dundee to enable the development of drug discovery opportunities into the therapeutics of tomorrow. The activities of the fund will centre around the UK’s leading academic centre for drug discovery and development, the University of Dundee’s Drug Development Unit (DDU).

The Target Development Fund will be making a call for projects from the 18 October 2011, targeting the most exciting ideas from universities and research institutes worldwide (for application details see

The fund will support the translation of world-class life sciences research into early phase drug discovery and development projects that address a clear unmet medical need. The data packages generated around these projects will demonstrate the appropriate disease model-based validation required to make them highly attractive to potential licensing partners from within the pharmaceutical industry.

Projects developed within the fund will be able to leverage the respective strengths and synergies between the collaboration partners. TPP brings scientific and commercialisation expertise, a global network of contacts and the ability to access downstream investment funds. The Target Development Fund will fuse TPP’s core competencies with the DDU’s world-class chemoinformatics modelling and early stage drug discovery expertise and infrastructure.

TPP is a UK-based, biotech company focused on developing preclinical drug development programmes to a commercialization point at which they can be licensed to large pharmaceutical/biotech companies, or spun out into separate standalone operating companies. The intellectual property behind TPP’s programmes originates from a number of sources, including universities, research institutes and industry as well as internally generated ideas. TPP seeks genuine partnerships with academic researchers throughout the UK, Europe, US and Asia in order to facilitate the successful translation of the most novel and exciting ideas into safe and effective drugs.

Dr Tom Brown, TPP’s CEO commented, “We are delighted to have entered into this agreement and to work with Dundee’s world class drug development unit. TPP, the University of Dundee and the SFC have a common vision to see the successful translation of the early stage research into medicines that benefit patients. This collaboration goes a long way towards achieving that.”

Professor Mike Ferguson, Dean of Research at the Universityof Dundee College of Life Sciences said, “TPP is the ideal partner for this collaboration. Their experience in translation and commercialisation of early stage research complementsthe Dundee Drug Discovery Unit’stechnical expertise in early stage drug development and discovery. This collaboration will be of enormous value in taking forward the biomedical discoveries made across Scottish Universities and the wider global academic community.”

Professor Paul Wyatt, Head of the DDU, said “Being involved in this collaboration is exciting for the DDU. The collaboration provides a mechanism whereby we can convert novel research into valuable new medicines of the future. Given the pressures imposed by the current tight funding environment we have simplified the application process for the Target Development Fund so that we can begin translational work as soon as possible.”

Mark Batho, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: "Dundee University is recognised as a world-leading institution in life science research and has been at the forefront of turning this research into products that are valuable both in terms of their impact and for the economy of Scotland. The Scottish Funding Council is therefore delighted to be supporting this new initiative which has the potential to offer significant benefits for the health of the nation and will also create jobs and help the economy."

If you have a project that you would be interested in progressing within the Target Development Fund further information on how to apply is available at or contact Dr Barry McGuinness The closing date for applications is 18 November 2011.