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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Funding for clinical drugs centre
Strathclyde University
The new university centre is expected to cost about 35m
Plans by the University of Strathclyde to create a pioneering drugs discovery and development centre have received cash assistance.

The Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences is expected to cost about 35m and will work to tackle major illnesses like MRSA.

The Wolfson Foundation has pledged 1.75m to the project.

So far the university has committed 27m to the centre, with the remaining 8m being raised through fundraising.

The new building will be constructed on Glasgow's Cathedral Street and is expected to be completed by 2010.

Professor Graham Coombs, head of the institute, said one of the aims of the new centre will be to speed up the journey from drug concept to clinical trial.

He said: "This major investment will put Strathclyde at the forefront of drug discovery, enabling us to make a real contribution to the health of patients globally.

"We will develop and advance new treatments for a range of major illnesses, from cardiovascular and inflammatory conditions to infectious diseases.

Surgical operations

"We aim to attract scientists from around the world to develop our close links with industry, ensuring we create the medicines that are most needed. The much-welcome funds from the Wolfson Foundation are a fantastic step."

Officials said the institute, which has already become the site of Cancer Research UK's drug formulation unit, will enhance its position.

Drugs developed after work done at the university include atracurium, the muscle relaxant now used in surgical operations around the world and a new form of leucovorin, used in the treatment of colon cancer.

The Wolfson Foundation, a charitable organisation established in 1955, support projects across the fields of science and medical research and currently allocates about 35m every year.

Paul Ramsbottom, executive secretary of the foundation, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the University of Strathclyde. The new institute will build on the university's distinguished record in this important area of research."

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