The Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON has launched a new agreement with the Centre of Excellence for Long-Acting Therapeutics (CELT) at the University of Liverpool that will enable iiCON partners and collaborators to access the capability at CELT.

CELT is a cross-faculty research centre with expertise in pharmacology and materials chemistry. It supports the development and understanding of long-acting medicines, aiming to change the global landscape of drug administration. Equitable availability of long-acting treatments in low- and middle-income countries is a major ambition for the Centre.

iiCON has eleven platforms, each offering companies and collaborators access to specific facilities and world-leading expertise to support infection R&D. The platforms cover each stage of the innovation journey from discovery through to deployment and are designed to accelerate innovation and overcome barriers to product discovery, development, and market entry. The platforms feature a wide range of expertise and capability including highly advanced anti-microbial modelling, all the way through to first in human clinical trials, regulatory support, and product trials and testing.

As part of the agreement, CELT will launch and operate a platform within iiCON, enabling iiCON partners and collaborators to access the centre’s expertise and facilities in long-acting therapeutics, supporting impactful collaborations to enhance product and therapeutic efficacy and drive innovation.

Long-acting therapeutics can have an impact for treatment and prevention of chronic diseases and other applications for acute diseases where multiple pharmaceutical doses are required for successful therapy.

Professor Janet Hemingway, iiCON director, said: “We are delighted to be formally welcoming the Centre for Long-Acting Therapeutics to iiCON as a key platform within the consortium. Long-Acting Therapeutics is an incredibly exciting area with huge potential to transform the treatment of a number of diseases, such as TB or malaria prophylaxis. The centre has world-leading expertise and facilities that companies of all sizes will be able to access through iiCON and we look forward to seeing the innovation this collaboration will support.”

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Professor Andrew Owen, co-director of CELT, said: “We very much look forward to working closely together with our colleagues within iiCON as we strive to expand understanding of long-acting drug delivery and apply technologies and know-how to catalyse medicine development for treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. We are proud to bring our expertise into the consortium which we hope will help support innovation in global health.”

iiCON is a consortium led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) with core partners LifeArc, Unilever, Evotec, Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, University of Liverpool, and Infex Therapeutics. It brings together industry, academia, and clinicians to accelerate the discovery, development and deployment of new treatments and products to prevent and treat infectious disease – saving and improving millions of lives through collaborative innovation.

Founded in 2020 with an £18.6 million government grant provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund, iiCON has already helped a total of 36 new products enter the market. This has resulted in over five billion units of new personal hygiene products, medical devices, vaccines and other disease prevention products being provided to patients and populations – saving millions of lives globally.

CELT was established in 2020 with funding provided by Unitaid alongside match funding from the University of Liverpool.



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