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DCU researchers awarded €470,000 to develop a digital cell biology platform

Two DCU researchers have been awarded €470,000 by Enterprise Ireland to further develop a digital cell biology platform that will potentially speed up the process of biological drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Paul Leonard, School of Biotechnology and lead Principal Investigator and co-collaborator Dr David Kinahan, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering are planning to further develop and commercialise through a platform called MONART (Monoclonal Cell Array Technology).

Despite massive investment by the pharmaceutical industry as many as 19 out of 20 drugs fail to reach the market. In turn, it means potential breakthroughs are missed and the cost of new drugs are now rising rapidly.

MONART will directly address the inefficiency in the early stage discovery of human B cell or hybridoma derived biological drugs.

The project builds on DCU’s expertise in microcapillary array-based cell screening with the development of a new recovery platform specifically designed for the recovery of viable mammalian cells from microcapillary arrays.

The project will combine hardware, software and biological assays for the development of an automated digital cell biology platform that can radically change the way new therapeutic drugs are discovered and can led to the discovery of new treatment for current chronic and debilitating diseases.

It will commence in October 2019.

25th June, 2019