University of Dundee

The European Screening Center Newhouse at Biocity Scotland plays a pivotal role in the EU Lead factory. It is part of the School of Life Sciences of the University of Dundee and provides biological data, medicinal chemistry, informatics analysis and modelling to the consortium. The group offers extensive knowledge of the drug discovery cycle over a wide range of target classes. The University of Dundee is one of the leading Universities in the UK and its School of Life Sciences is actively involved in drug discovery. With more than 1000 staff members and research students, the School of Life Sciences is one of the largest and most productive research institutes in Europe.

Project Leader: Prof Andrew Hopkins and Dr Phil Jones
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The University of Dundee is a member of the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), a strategic alliance between the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde that is supported by the Scottish Funding Council. SULSA contributes to the EU Lead Factory by providing funding and pathways to sustainability that support the University of Dundee’s participation in the project. SULSA has also instigated the SULSA Assay Development Fund, which helps SULSA researchers submit competitive proposals to the EU Lead Factory with High Throughput Screening (HTS)-ready assays.

Executive Director: Dr Denise Barrault
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Leiden University

Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands, with around 15,000 students. Chemistry and life science research in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry is organized around three major themes: biological chemistry; design and synthesis; and physical and theoretical chemistry. These themes illustrate the central position of chemistry and life sciences in between biology, medicine and physics, and there is an emphasis on executing interdisciplinary research. The BIOSYN group is focused on the design, synthesis and function of the four major types of biomolecules: nucleic acids; carbohydrates; peptides; and lipids; and hybrid structures thereof. It is expert in the synthesis of scaffolds based on carbohydrates and of orthogonally functionalized scaffolds.

Project leader: Prof Dr Hermen Overkleeft, Head of Bioorganic Synthesis (BIOSYN) at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry
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Leiden University Medical Center

Research of the Ovaa group at the Leiden University Medical Center is focused on one central theme: chemical biology of Ub-mediated proteolysis and antigen presentation. It is currently divided into four subtopics: 1. Ubiquitin chemistry; 2. Activity and inhibition of the ubiquitin modifying machinery; 3. Proteasome activity; and 4. MHC class I antigen presentation. The Ovaa lab aims to develop of tools to profile cellular enzymatic activities associated primarily with ubiquitin modification as well as proteasome activity; antigen production and antigen presentation; and therapeutic intervention with individual components of these systems. It is housed in a new chemistry facility that meets the highest standards and is equipped with multiple peptide synthesizers (turnover 6,000 peptides/yr), HPLC purifiers and a 300MHz NMR machine with auto sampler, several LC-MS systems and a mass-guided autopurifier.

Project leader: Prof Dr Huib Ovaa
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Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology

The research groups of Prof. Dr. Herbert Waldmann and Dr. Kamal Kumar, at MPI Dortmund, have a reputation for generating ´high quality´ compound libraries. Natural product based privileged scaffolds have already been successfully exploited at Dortmund, and  the high percentage of hits obtained from the groups’ compound collections is a major motivation for further exploration of natural product ring-systems, with the help of collaborating SMEs. The MPI’s participation will help to generate a sustainable library synthesis platform, lead to qualified hits,  help in the identification of qualified hits for the development of novel high quality chemical probes, and ultimately help to shed light on unknown aspects of diverse disease and non-disease state biological functions.

Project leader: Prof Dr Herbert Waldmann and Dr Kamal Kumar
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Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Molecules and Materials

Research in the Rutjes synthetic organic chemistry group focuses on the design and synthesis of molecules with biological relevance. Catalysis is used extensively, involving biocatalysts (enzymes), metal catalysts, organocatalysts (and/or combinations of both) to construct new building blocks and subsequently apply them in the synthesis of biologically active heterocycles and natural products. In recent years, compounds that target specific biological activity have been important – from conformationally restricted aminoglycosides as potential new antibiotics, to fluorescently labelled peptides for monitoring blood clotting, through to new strategies toward metabolically stable glycopeptides. This latter research has also initiated the development of new bioorthogonal ligation strategies that are increasingly applied for specific labelling of proteins and carbohydrates in the field of chemical biology. 

Project leader: Prof Dr Floris Rutjes
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Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Department for Drug Design

The Rijksuniversiteit Groningen project leader Alexander Dömling has been involved in several biotech companies, overseeing preclinical discovery and development of drug candidates. His group is interested in structure based drug design, and he has developed novel web based free-to-use pharmacophore technologies: ANCHOR.QUERY, NUCLEO.QUERY and TPP.QUERY which allow screening of billion-sized virtual libraries of unique instantly accessible small molecules.  The group is focusing on cancer and inflammatory targets, as well as autoimmune and infectious disease. Another area of interest is neglected tropical and orphan diseases. For the EU Lead Factory the group will design and evaluate novel and innovative but drug-like small molecule scaffolds for targets of unmet medical needs.

Project leader: Prof Dr Alexander Dömling
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Technical University of Denmark

Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is the largest technical university in Denmark with 4,500 employees and 6,500 students. The Department of Chemistry (DTU Chemistry) will propose innovative scaffolds and library proposals, with priority given to synthetic pathways that are short and modular, emphasizing the ability to systematically vary stereochemical and skeletal features, to provide structurally diverse compounds in a library format. Research infrastructure includes laboratories for organic synthesis, with state‐of‐the‐art equipment and dedicated technical support (HPLC, prep HPLC, LCMS, NMR).

Project Leader: Prof Mads H. Clausen
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Lygature (formerly known as TI Pharma)

Lygature drives the development of new medical solutions for patients by managing public-private partnerships that bring together academia, industry and society. Every day we pioneer solutions in the areas of medical technology and pharmacotherapy to serve patients worldwide.
Lygature is a not-for-profit organization based in the Netherlands. We build upon the legacy of the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) and Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma).

Project Leader: Ton Rijnders, Scientific Director
For more information visit www.lygature.org


University of Duisburg-Essen

Research at the UDE is focussed on the design, synthesis and evaluation of bioactive small molecules from biologically pre-validated structures such as bioactive natural products. Along these lines, the group will propose, evaluate and finally generate scaffolds for library synthesis from natural product structures.

Project leader: Prof Dr Markus Kaiser
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University of Leeds

Ranked within the top 100 universities in QS world rankings, Leeds is one of the largest UK universities.  The development of innovative chemistry will be conducted within the interdisciplinary research environment that is provided by the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, the Institution for Process Research and Development (iPRD), and the Biomedical and Health Research Centre (BHRC).   Prof. Nelson is the lead for work-package 10, which deals with the review and selection of library proposals within the European Lead Factory.   Postdoctoral researchers with specific expertise in synthetic organic chemistry will contribute to the synthetic validation of library proposals. Leeds will also contribute novel assays for consideration for implementation in high‐throughput format within the European Screening Centre.

Project leader: Prof Adam Nelson
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University of Nottingham

Ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings, University of Nottingham is a global institution with additional campuses in China and Malaysia. The contribution to the EU Lead Factory from its School of Chemistry comes from Robert Stockman and Chris Moody. Robert Stockman’s research is in the areas of heterocyclic chemistry, new synthetic methodology/strategy, natural product synthesis, asymmetric synthesis and diversity oriented chemistry. Chris Moody is the Sir Jesse Boot Professor in the University of Nottingham (since 2005) and has published over 375 papers and 8 patents covering heterocyclic chemistry, synthetic methodology, natural product synthesis and medicinal chemistry.

Project leaders: Dr Robert Stockman and Prof. Chris Moody
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University of Oxford

The University of Oxford, ranked the top University in the World in Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health by Times High Education, is a partner in the EU Lead factory. It provides protein production and crystallography capabilities through one of its leading academic pre-clinical drug discovery research groups, the SGC. Based at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, the SGC is a globally recognised centre of reference working on novel, medically relevant human proteins and unveiling pioneering drug target families such as the bromodomains epigenetics regulators and several novel protein kinases.

Project leaders: Dr Wen Hwa Lee, Dr Nicola Burgess-Brown and Dr Frank von Delft
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VU University Amsterdam

VU University Amsterdam endeavors to unravel the complexities of scientific and societal questions. It was established in 1880 and counts around 22.000 students today. The Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences performs cutting-edge chemical research in four focus areas, including synthetic chemistry and catalysis. The Synthetic & Bio-organic Chemistry research group, led by professor Romano Orru, is an international key player in multicomponent reactions and complimentary efficient synthetic strategies. To date, these novel methods have resulted in a collection of compounds with high molecular diversity and complexity. This array is subsequently applied for the synthesis of biologically relevant compounds, including complex pharmaceuticals. Importantly, these methods encompass emphasis on atom and resource efficiency.

Project leadersProf Dr Romano V. A. Orru and Dr Eelco Ruijter
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