60 million euro for KU Leuven’s Centre for Drug Design and Discovery

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The Centre for Drug Design & Discovery (CD3) has launched a 60 million euro fund to turn innovative biomedical research of academic institutions and small companies into drugs that improve and extend people’s lives. Following on previous investments in 2006 and 2010, KU Leuven Research & Development and the European Investment Fund (EIF) jointly provide the capital for this third CD3 fund. Both partners thereby strongly confirm their belief in CD3’s mission to translate innovative (academic) science into promising drug discovery programs that are well qualified for further development by pharmaceutical or biotech companies. The new fund will allow CD3 to bring potential drugs into clinical development together with industrial partners, as well as on its own.

CD3 brings expert drug discovery capabilities and financial means to academic research groups and small companies in order to discover innovative small molecule drugs. The Leuven based drug discovery centre sources its projects from Belgian, European and other international research institutions and companies. Over the past ten years, CD3 has initiated multiple projects to discover new drugs for disorders such as HIV infections, Dengue virus infections, Alzheimer’s disease auto-immune disorders and cancer, of which several have resulted in partnerships with pharma companies. Other projects have given rise to the creation of startup companies.

“Turning innovative science from universities into good drug candidates by combining academic and industrial expertise with drug discovery capabilities and financial resources, has become a promising approach for discovering new drugs”, said Dr. Patrick Chaltin, Managing Director of CD3. “With this new fund, we can now build on our initial successes and further dig into new unexplored avenues for the discovery of new medicines that address some of the most serious medical needs of our time. We are delighted that the European Investment Fund and KU Leuven Research & Development offer us the support and financial means to broaden our scope and to extend our capabilities.”

“Since its inception in 2006, CD3 has built an excellent reputation within the EU drug discovery community as a translational centre and has developed a promising pipeline of potential new medicines”, said Piyush Unalkat, Head of Technology Transfer Investments at the European Investment Fund. “KU Leuven is a first class academic institution and ranks as the most innovative university in the EU. The EIF remains firmly committed to support the translation of good academic science to the market through providing long-term and patient capital.”