Thirty partners - four years together in the lead

20 April 2016

European Lead Factory General Assembly 2016 in Leiden, The Netherlands

Entering its fourth year of operations, the European Lead Factory now reaps the first results in the form of over 30 scientific publications on their innovative chemical scaffolds, the delivery of over 3,500 hits to target owners to further advance their drug discovery programme and even the first patent filed on a target important in bacterial multi-drug resistance.

The project has to date compiled just over 400,000 unique library compounds for its Joint European Compound Library and started > 60 screening programmes on novel drug targets submitted by academic and SME researchers from 13 European countries, as well as > 80 internal programmes on targets under investigation by the pharma partners.

During the General Assembly, project partners, programme owners and other stakeholders convened in Leiden on April 12-13 to exchange latest results and to discuss the project sustainability beyond 2017, when the initial 5-year funding from the EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) will end.

The first day of the meeting was open to current and potential new partners of the consortium.

Dr. Colm Carroll, Scientific Project Manager for the European Lead Factory at the IMI, describes the project as “a flagship IMI project that acts as a game changer for drug discovery.”

Prof. Benoit Deprez, Institut Pasteur de Lille, adds “As an independent reviewer in the ELF Screening Selection Committee, I was very excited to now see the successful outcomes of Public Target Programmes after having reviewed them previously! Moreover, I could clearly see how the biological and chemical arms of the ELF could act synergistically to boost pharma innovation in previously unaddressed areas”.

One of these successful programmes is developed at Leiden University. “The HTS provided by the European Lead Factory was a great complement to the structure-based drug discovery and computational approaches I’ve used in my research on DAGL lipases in neurogenerative disorders”, programme owner Dr. Mario van der Stelt reports. “Together with the European Lead Factory medicinal chemistry group, a lead series with nM potency, good selectivity and in vivo activity has been developed.”

Leiden University is the managing entity of this largest public-private partnership under IMI. The city of Leiden is also home to Lygature, the not-for profit organization heading the European Screening Center.

There are still a few screening slots available for targets of innovative drug and diagnostics discovery programmes. Contact the Programme Office to learn more.