FAQ Screening proposals

Screening proposals

Is my programme idea protected?

Yes. Strict confidentiality applies during the submissions process. There is an undertaking from all members of all offices, boards and committees (including EFPIA participants) that they will not disclose any details to their own organization or to third parties. After your programme is selected and you sign the Contributing Third-Party Agreement, your rights and obligations apply – described in our plain English guide.

Who assesses programmes?

The initial triage programme is conducted by the EU Lead Factory Programme Office, at Lygature. Submissions that pass triage then go to the Review Committee and the Selection Committee.

Will I have a chance to challenge rejection?

The final say rests with the Selection Committee, but the European Lead Factory has been designed to promote collaboration and we try to encourage and promote valuable ideas. Although rejections cannot be appealed, if a submission fails because of shortcomings in the assay, you may be given up to 6 months to suggest an upgrade at the Committee’s discretion.

What type of assays can be submitted?

Biochemical and cell-based assays (using stable cell lines) can be submitted, for example alpha-screen, fluorescent polarization, HTRF, colorimetric, FRET, TR-FRET, IMAP, beta-lactamase, and luciferase. Phenotypic screens will be considered in the near future.

If you are working on infectious disease... what kind of class of pathogen can you submit to the programme?

The labs within the ESC are Biosafety level 2.

How well developed does the assay need to be?

The assay has to be an endpoint assay, homogenous (meaning NO wash steps), reproducibly working in a 384-well format with maximum volume of 30 µl. If you need advice on how to reach that quality, you can contact us.

Does the data need to be validated for the assays submitted to the programme? At what level?

Detailed validation is not warranted. However, the assay needs to be robust (Z-prime>0.6) and reproducible. Reagents that are used need to be stable for at least 8 hours. Furthermore, the assay plate, after completion of the reaction, needs to have a stable readout for at least 1 hour.

Is there a list of assay formats that will not be considered?

Formats using less than 384-wells will not be considered. Also, kinetic assays are not compatible with HTS. Most of the time kinetic assays can be adapted to endpoint assays by introducing a stop reaction.

What is the type of screening available? Is HCS screening available?

The ELF programmes are currently focused on HTS and not HCS. HCS will become available as screening facility in the near future.

Do you have a list of assay detection technologies that will be available?

All technologies based on luminescence, absorbance or fluorescence are available.

How about a Phenotypic screen follow up if results of biochemical screen are promising?

During the follow up phase, potential phenotypic screens might be included. However, in the pre-QHL phase all experiments need to be performed within the consortium, meaning that there are restrictions on the types of screens as well as on the resources. For example, the amount of compound available for all additional experiments is limited. Details will be discussed during preparation of the programme plan.

How much communication is there during the screening programme between the screening scientists and the target provider?

There will be a regular communication (~monthly) between the programme owner /target provider and the screening scientists of the consortium. The precise frequency will depend on status of the programme: during data analysis, communication will take place more often.