Burgeoning ‘pharmatech’ sector breaking new group to give drug discovery a shot in the arm

‘Pop into the labs of Manchester biotech C4X Discovery and you could be in for a surprise. Instead of scientists perched at their work stations peering down microscopes or poring over data, you might find them walking around, arms outstretched, holding what would appear to be imaginary objects.

These scientists haven’t gone mad. They’re pioneers of a new field in drug discovery that combines science with the sort of virtual reality technology typically associated with gaming. Using a headset and hand controls they’re transported into 3D chambers where they can access a database of virtual molecules to pull and twist to see how they fit together.’