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Venture Support

TRN collaborate with Universities and research organisations to progress promising drug discovery projects from lead identification through early clinical development. We partner with Principal Investigators and Technology Transfer groups to secure funding, provide strategic guidance and practical support to access and manage available technologies and resources worldwide. Much of this work is conducted at risk. This was initially run as part of The Research Network’s Venture Support service but has since taken on a life of it’s own as an all inclusive service that leverages TRN’s existing assets and networks, alongside technical, scientific and regulatory expertise to create bespoke packages for each project.

This new service has been launched as a unique platform, called The Virtual Bioincubator. We’re passionate about good science and enabling projects to grow and take on a life of their own, backed up with expertise and knowledge from a variety of fields and areas, creating beneficial relationships and collaboration worldwide. VBio is composed of scientists with extensive knowledge of industry and academia combined with business experience and the drive to help you progress your projects.




Click below to see some of our current supported ventures:

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Our Venture Support services include:

Project Due Diligence
  • Rapid review of documentation and brainstorm
  • Expert matched to project
  • Bulleted feedback
  • Low fixed cost*
  • Follow-up with project team
  • In depth review of key topics
  • Intellectual property review
  • Agreed hourly rate or fixed cost*

*Or free in partnership model

Positioning Emerging Technologies

General Guidance on market opportunities

  • Expert matched to technology
  • Bulleted feedback
  • Low fixed cost*

In depth market research

  • Review of competition
  • Research report provided
  • Estimate of market potential
  • Barriers to progression highlighted
  • Pre-agreed cost for work*

* Or free in partnership model

Patent Writing and Strategy Support
Chemistry Patent Scope & Strategy Support

In collaboration with our Network Partners from the fields of patent law and medicinal chemistry, The Research Network can help optimise your intellectual property through patent strategy, scope, example selection and compilation of experimental data packages. Together we offer a full medicinal chemistry patent service, or individually, we can provide services to suit your specific need and budget. This provides a bespoke, cost-effective solution, to free your scientists whilst enhancing your intellectual property protection.

We offer patent support in the following areas:

  • Prior Art Review
  • Patent Strategy and Scope
  • Example Selection
  • Experimental Write-up and Data Packages
  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Attorney Expertise

Chemistry Patent Writing

The Research Network team has a wealth of expertise and experience in compiling chemistry patent data. Our team is comprised of inventors and authors of over 100 chemistry patents and publications. We can provide high quality, tailored, patent-ready Examples and Preparations, alongside General Methods sections. Our chemists are well practiced at condensing experimental write-ups and analysing data, helping you achieve optimum efficiency to meet the legal requirements of disclosure, whilst providing a cost-effective solution for future translations. Engaging The Research Network in writing and compiling both experimental and general methodology sections of your patent specifications allows your scientists more time to focus on key activities

We offer scientific journal writing and editing services across all disciplines of pharmaceutical research. Our team of writers, who are all native English speakers, have many years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and have authored journal articles across a wide range of disciplines eg J Med Chem, Bioorg & Med Chem, Drug Discovery Today, Methods in Molecular Biology.

We understand the standards and expectations of journal editors, and apply our scientific writing and editing experience to the preparation of your documents.

We will work with you to create a professional scientific paper suitable for submission to the journal of your choice and based on the data available can make a recommendation of which journal would be the most appropriate. We will tailor the style of writing to meet the needs of your specific scientific journal and ensure that any data requirements are met.

Funding & Resources

UK Funding Opportunities

Innovate UK 
Open Funding Competitions can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/innovation-grants-for-business-apply-for-funding#open-funding-competitions

Medicines Discovery Catapult
The new Medicines Discovery Catapult will support industry in developing new technologies primarily for the discovery and evaluation of medicines. The catapult hopes to:

  • Support the development of next generation technologies that will transform the drug development landscape and de-risk them for further investment
  • Be a source of discovery expertise and knowledge
  • Provide technical expertise and infrastructure to ensure products are robust and useful
  • Create opportunities for training and collaboration, both nationally and globally
  • Be a source of knowledge about grants, investment finance and markets

Medical Research Council (MRC) 
MRC support academic researchers (including in collaboration with SMEs)

Development Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) fund supports translation of fundamental discoveries, such as pre-clinical development and early clinical testing of novel therapeutics including “repurposing”of existing therapies.

DPFS is an ongoing scheme, with deadlines every 4 months. Next deadline is 27 July 2016.

Wellcome Trust 
Provide grants for research in areas of unmet medical need. Funding available to both academics and companies

Translation Fund
The aim of Translation Awards is to develop innovative and ground breaking new technologies in the biomedical area. Projects must have already demonstrated proof of principle, supported by experimental data. There are currently two calls per year.

Pathfinder Awards
Pilot funding for academic-industry partnerships in the UK and across the globe, to develop early-stage applied research and development projects in orphan and neglected diseases. Pathfinder Awards fund innovative discrete pilot studies to develop assets and de-risk future development.

Portfolio Awards
This scheme funds programmes which require a portfolio of projects to deliver leading-edge innovations in healthcare and need to demonstrate ambitious, ground-breaking innovative solutions that will have a profound healthcare impact and, that cannot be fully realised through a project-based funding approach.

SBRI Healthcare 
The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, championed by the newly formed Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), who aim to promote UK economic growth whilst addressing unmet health needs and enhancing the take up of known best practice. There are currently no open competitions.

European Funding Opportunities

Horizon 2020 (H2020)
Most of the EU Council funded calls can be accessed under the common H2020 portal

H2020 – Marie-Curie
Grants are available now to support early stage work – ongoing grant deadlines can fund fully paid researchers in Universities and SMEs – focus on training so TRN has an advantage here. Currently closed

H2020 Societal challenges
These are the topics circulated previously and tend to attract large consortia. Options to join emerging consortia (easier – we have connections to arrange this) or collaborate with winning consortium once formed (harder)

H2020 SME Vehicle
More flexible and open to applications from lone SMEs or consortia, just needs good science, 6-montprojects up to euro 50k or 1-2 year projects 0.5-2.5 million euro. Can be used to progress projects or to early clinic.

Eurostars II (ongoing fund to support scientific research)
This is a dedicated programme for supporting Research Performing SMEs in cross-border collaborative projects. Eurostars is the only European funding programme to be specifically dedicated to support R&D-performing SMEs in their innovative R&D projects. There are two calls for funding per year.

European Lead Factory (ELF) 
Screening applications to the ELF are lagging somewhat behind expectation and additional proposals would be welcome. Submission of library chemistry ideas is also now live (submitter have to grant unrestricted licence to ELF for compounds submitted)