2016 UK Golden Triangle Challenge selects two winners

May 31, 2017
London UK

We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2016 UK Golden Triangle Discovery Fast Track Challenge. This Challenge is sponsored by GSK’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) group to provide an opportunity for academic researchers to collaborate with GSK and explore novel ideas that might become medicines of the future. This was the fourth year of the Challenge and in contrast to previous years, this Challenge was specifically focused to a 50-mile radius of the GSK Medicines Research Centre at Stevenage.

Two winning proposals were selected from over 40 entries following a rigorous selection process that included a presentation to a panel of experienced drug discovery and therapeutic area experts from GSK. The winning proposals describe cutting-edge science in the fields of neurodegeneration and bacterial infections that have the potential to impact disease areas where there is an unmet medical need and where patients would strongly benefit from new therapeutic interventions. The winners have access to GSK scientists and discovery resources, including high throughput screening with GSK’s compound libraries to further investigate their winning concepts. The local geography of this year’s challenge has enabled GSK to offer the winning scientist or a member of their team to come and work on their project at GSK.

The 2016 UK Golden Triangle Challenge winners are:

  • Associate Professor of Neurobiology, Esther Becker from the University of Oxford
  • Professor of Infectious Diseases, Shiranee Sriskandan and Reader in Leukocyte Biology, James Pease from Imperial College London

The ability to collaborate closely joins the deep knowledge of academia to the drug discovery expertise of GSK. Esther Becker says, "I am very excited about this fantastic opportunity to help translate our findings into a novel medicine for cerebellar ataxia."

The opportunity to access GSK's compound collections offers a significant step to progressing academic research. "Screening compounds for inhibitors of bacterial virulence represents an important and novel advance in the approach to treating bacterial infection" said James Pease and Shiranee Sriskandan from Imperial College London.

Duncan Holmes, European Head of DPAc, said: "I am delighted to congratulate our winners of this year's UK Golden Triangle Challenge and we are looking forward to working with both teams. The Challenge has been extremely successful in identifying exciting new collaborative opportunities that may ultimately lead to innovative medicines to tackle unmet patient need. This programme has extended our ability to reach out and make contacts with leading academics."

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