- Global Pharma News & Resources

Almac Discovery to Collaborate with MSD on selected DUB therapeutic targets

Researchers will utilise Almac’s unique Ubi-Plex® platform

Belfast, UK, 29 Apr 2020 – Almac Discovery, a member of the Almac Group, has today announced a research collaboration with MSD (tradename of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA) focusing on the generation of novel small molecule inhibitors against specified Deubiquitinase (DUB) targets for the treatment of a range of neurodegenerative and other diseases.

Almac Discovery possesses a demonstrated track-record and a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of DUBs and utilises its unique, purpose-built, fully comprehensive assay and drug finding platform -Ubi-Plex® - to identify and develop novel inhibitors against a large number of therapeutically relevant DUBs. Whilst this collaboration will focus on neurodegenerative diseases, the Ubi-Plex platform also offers the opportunity to generate novel, innovative candidate drugs targeting unmet need in a range of therapeutic areas including oncology, viral, inflammatory and metabolic disorders.

Dr Stephen Barr, Managing Director & President, Almac Discovery commented: “We are delighted to have signed our latest research collaboration agreement with such an experienced and renowned leader in research. Both MSD and Almac are aligned in our missions to develop treatments for illnesses that represent areas of significant unmet medical need.”

Almac Discovery and MSD will initially collaborate in a two-year joint research programme with the objective to identify and progress novel, potent and selective small molecule inhibitors. MSD will be responsible for conducting lead optimisation, preclinical and clinical development and commercialisation.

“Establishing external collaborations is an integral part of our strategy to drive medical advances against some of the most challenging diseases facing ageing populations,” said Dr Fiona Marshall, Vice President, Head of Neuroscience Discovery and Head of Discovery Science at MSD UK. “We look forward to working with scientists at Almac to evaluate the potential of novel small molecule deubiquitinase inhibitors.”

Prof. Tim Harrison, Vice President Drug Discovery, added “The Almac Discovery team are looking forward to working with MSD to prosecute this exciting target class, with a view to developing much needed new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.”

Under the terms of the agreement Almac Discovery will receive an upfront licence fee and research funding from MSD, the financial details of which are not disclosed. Almac Discovery is also eligible for payments based on the achievement of predetermined research, development and commercial milestones, as well as tiered royalties on potential commercial sales of products resulting from the collaboration.

About Almac Discovery

Almac Discovery is an innovative research driven biotech company dedicated to the discovery and development of First in Class therapeutics across a range of therapeutic areas including neuroscience, muscle-wasting, oncology and inflammation. Almac Discovery focuses on the discovery to preclinical stage, seeking to licence programmes early with a pharmaceutical partner for further development.

For more information, please visit or e-mail

About Almac Group

A unique culture delivering exceptional solutions

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services across the drug development lifecycle to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. Its innovative services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation which has grown organically over the past five decades now employing over 5,600 highly skilled personnel across 18 facilities including Europe, the US and Asia.

To keep up to date with latest news, follow Almac Group on Twitter and LinkedIn or visit

Editor Details

  • Company:
    • Almac
  • Name:
    • Almac
Last Updated: 29-Apr-2020