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Centre for Amyloidosis and Acute Phase Proteins
The centre conducts world leading research in all aspects of the pentraxin family of plasma proteins, and in amyloidosis. Studies range from structural biology, through molecular, genetic, biochemical, physiological and pathological studies, to clinical diagnostics, patient management and new drug discovery. There are extensive collaborative links with scientists, clinicians and industry in many of these areas. The goal is to elucidate fundamental normal and pathobiological mechanisms in order to improve diagnosis, management and outcome of disease. Apart from all aspects of amyloidosis, for which the UK NHS National Amyloidosis Centre is located in this Department, there are particular interests in cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, as well as the major common diseases associated with local amyloid deposits: Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. New inventions for treatment of disease made in the centre are owned by Pentraxin Therapeutics Ltd, a UCL spinout company founded and directed by Professor Pepys and Mr Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director of UCL Business PLC. The Pentraxin Therapeutics Ltd portfolio comprises treatments for amyloidosis and for cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. The most advanced project is the development of a unique small molecule and humanised monoclonal antibody combination for treatment of systemic amyloidosis. The I.P. was licensed to GlaxoSmithKline in February 2009 and a fully collaborative clinical development programme is in progress aiming for first patient studies in 2012. The Laboratory for Protein Crystallography within the centre, headed by Professor Steve Wood, employs the techniques of X-ray and neutron diffraction and associated computational methods to define the three dimensional structures of a variety of proteins, including the pentraxins and their complexes with other proteins and low molecular weight ligands. In all cases we seek fundamental understanding of protein function at an atomic level and where appropriate to use this knowledge in the design of novel ligands with potential as drugs.
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University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

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