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Stop, Collaborate, and Listen

Academic Drug Discovery

2 Nov 2015

Only a few years ago, the overwhelming majority of drug discovery programs were conceived, actioned, and realised within the confines of Big Pharma - a method that worked well for a long time. Eventually, a dearth in the pipelines of these multinationals, arising partly from the increasing complexity of drug molecules and the corresponding increase in the cost of failure, created the impetus to seek out new business models.

Initially these changes principally involved the outsourcing of lead generation and optimisation components of the discovery process. This allowed companies to access validated leads through acquisition of patents or whole companies. The process is cost-effective for both large companies, which can avoid excessive in-house expenditure in creating lead compounds, and for smaller and more niche firms that are able to focus on their particular specialities without dealing with the concerns of clinical trials. However, the nature of such deals restricts the opportunity for both parties to remain involved in the science.

History has taught the industry to branch out further in the pursuit of new approaches, and a more recent innovation is the advent of the academic - industry alliance. While such partnerships have been in place for some time, current collaborations span a range of structures with all partners able to offer expertise in the development of drug candidates, and share equally in the success of their projects.

As academic groups are playing an increasingly significant role in the drug discovery sector, the SCI Fine Chemicals Group has organised 'Academic Drug Discovery III' - an event to showcase a range of collaborative drug discovery programmes.

Speakers will include representatives from academia and technology transfer, providing illustration of how the different types of structures have led (and are currently leading) to successful drugs. The day is aimed towards those in academia, pharma, or technology transfer who are, or wish to be, involved in this exciting and emerging area. There will be ample networking opportunities, ideal for those looking to make contact with leading exponents in the field.

'Academic Drug Discovery III' will take place on Tuesday 24 November 2015, at SCI, London. Registration is open now via the link below.

Dr Vishal Gulati

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