Seeding Drug Discovery

The aim is to develop drug-like, small molecules to be the springboard for further research and development by the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry in areas of unmet medical need. The two-point entry system enables earlier-stage projects to be competitive for funding, and progresses later-stage projects further towards clinical trials.

Seeding Drug Discovery

Key points/focus:

Funding to facilitate early-stage small-molecule drug discovery. The awards help applicants with a potential drug target or new chemistry embark on a programme of compound discovery and/or take later stage projects towards clinical trials. Projects must address an unmet need in healthcare or in applied medical research, offer a potential new solution, and have a realistic expectation that the innovation will be developed further by the market.

Other comments:

Eligible institutions are not-for-profit research institutions, including those funded by the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, in the UK, that are able to sign up to the Grant Conditions.

Applications Procedure:

Download a Preliminary Application Form  (Forms and Guidance tab) from the Wellcome Trust website or from the mirrored HIC Fund website.

Completed application forms should be emailed to before 13.00 on the relevant closing date.

Preliminary applications are subject to shortlisting by the Joint Funding Panel (JFP) for progression to the full application stage. Full applications will be invited after the shortlisting meeting. Applicants may submit their applications at any time, but all applications will be collated and processed in batches, beginning the day after each preliminary application closing date. Proposals received after a preliminary application closing date will be processed with the subsequent batch.

All full applications undergo independent peer review. Applicants will receive the peer reviewers’ comments and are invited to respond in writing. All shortlisted applicants must present their project proposal in person to the JFP at a funding committee meeting held at the London office of the Wellcome Trust. The interview takes the form of a short presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. Applicants will be notified of the JFP’s funding decision within seven days of the committee meeting.

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