UK university De Montfort University (DMU) has developed new technology to speed up and reduce the cost of drug development.

The technology was developed to offer new products and services, based on a set of proteins found in the human liver named cytochrome P450s (CYPs).

DMU professor and technology inventor Bob Chaudhuri said the development of new drugs can be very time-consuming and costly.

"Early drug discovery work has to identify new chemical compounds which are potentially useful without being toxic to humans," Chaudhuri added.

"Current testing methodologies do not address the problem as these model systems often react differently than humans to new chemicals."

The technology is designed to provide the proteins, required for the identification of new chemical compounds that are potentially useful without being toxic to humans, in a cost-effective and convenient format.

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CYPs commercially available by companies occupied in the discovery of new drugs are not convenient for use as they need a storage temperature of minus 80°C even during transportation.

New technology eliminates the need for a cold chain and enables shipment of CYPs at room temperature.

DMU has partnered with Ithaka Life Sciences to commercialise technology through a new company, CYP Design (CDL), to which DMU has licensed the new technology.

CDL CEO Dr Bill Primrose said the technology can have a significant impact on the timescales and costs involved in the early stages of drug discovery.

"CYPs are currently transported on dry ice, at around minus 80 degrees Celsius, and are stored as cold as possible in the customer’s laboratory until they are needed," Primrose added.

"His new technology eliminates the need for a cold chain making it easier to manufacture and ship the proteins, and making them much more convenient for the customer to use."