Brainwave-Discovery Ltd (BWD) is a spin-out company from the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. BWD provides contract research services to CNS drug discovery teams in the
pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. It specialises in the generation and analysis of humanised transgenic Drosophila as molecular pathway models for a range of CNS disorders. Patent protected assays allow rapid pharmacology, anatomy and behavioural phenotyping of new strains. BWD is currently working on over 50 human disease genes (linked to a range of cognitive and neurological disorders). BWD is a full commercial partner in the SynSYS (HEALTH-F4-2010-242167) consortium building a range of Drosophila models for human disease genes with 11 European partners. BWD is
also a partner in a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (FliACT) looking at translating innovative locomotion and behavioural assays to human disease models (Alzheimer’s)
BWD has extensive experience in using synthetic biology to design entirely novel genetic construsts when making human disease models (i.e. we have a specially engineered combinatorial panel of mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease that allow us to directly compare both pharmacological and genetic level effects on disease progression). Several of BWD’s unique assays are based on biomuniescent approaches to monitor brain activity in the adult fly and measure responses to new potential drugs. The work proposed in MINIMAL will build on this expertise and allow us to bridge a gap between the behavioural assay that we use and brain activity monitoring. For many applications
we also want to move from the adult fly on which the company mostly focuses onto the simpler larval stage. While the main aims of MINIMAL are mostly pre-commercial, the methodologies to be developed and refines are of commercial interest to BWD in terms of being able to offer a wider and more in-depth range of services to our commercial clients. In summary there is a highly synergistic relationship between the business interests of BWD and the academic groups in MINIMAL.