ChemPass, receives the highest monetary award from the European Lead Factory

19.06.2017

Any European researcher can submit a design proposal of a chemical library that can be synthesised by the EU Lead Factory and subsequently incorporated in the Joint European Compound Library (JECL). The project Library Design Committee rates the designs on six scientific criteria and determines the...Read more

ChemPass, receives the highest monetary award from the European Lead Factory

19.06.2017

Any European researcher can submit a design proposal of a chemical library that can be synthesised by the EU Lead Factory and subsequently incorporated in the Joint European Compound Library (JECL). The project Library Design Committee rates the designs on six scientific criteria and determines the technical maturity level of the proposals. Budapest-based ChemPass ltd rose to the challenge and recently received the highest monetary award of 5000 euros for their library design proposal.

ChemPass ltd develops state-of-the-art software for library design. The software can devise 3- and 4- step synthetic routes to innovative chemical scaffolds and libraries with full description of the reactions and estimated costs. To validate their software they submitted some library designs to the European Lead Factory. The first accepted one, based on a fully saturated bicyclic scaffold, has now been translated into a compound library by Mercachem (CRO and EU Lead Factory partner), resulting in so far >90 compounds that have been added to the JECL.

It’s a splendid example of how collaboration and sharing knowledge and expertise stimulates creativity in organic chemistry serving drug discovery. Greg Makara Founder & CEO of ChemPass Ltd ‘The whole crowdsourcing idea is great. With a reasonable amount of effort, you can get great outcomes’. The open character of the European Lead Factory gives researchers who are not partners of the EU Lead Factory the opportunity to propose their design. This stimulates innovation and diversity. ‘External library designers inject further novelty and diversity in JECL’ said Jorg Benningshof, Director Parallel Chemistry Mercachem, who has overseen the synthesis and production of the JECL compounds based on the ChemPass library design.


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French biotech receives Qualified Hit List

24.05.2017

The French biotech company CELLIPSE has taken the next step towards novel treatments for leukaemia patients thanks to the European Lead Factory. They have now received the so-called Qualified Hit List from the European Lead Factory for their innovative approach targeting the cytoskeleton regulation....Read more

French biotech receives Qualified Hit List

24.05.2017

The French biotech company CELLIPSE has taken the next step towards novel treatments for leukaemia patients thanks to the European Lead Factory. They have now received the so-called Qualified Hit List from the European Lead Factory for their innovative approach targeting the cytoskeleton regulation. Renaud Prudent, Chief Operating Officer of CELLIPSE thanked the ELF teams involved “Despite some unexpected difficulties along the way, they managed to deliver the results that we anticipated. This will allow us to build a second chemistry asset program, to strengthen our ongoing proprietary lead candidates portfolio of kinase inhibitors for myeloid leukemias.”

Interested? Read more on their website.


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Over 1,000 library proposals submitted to ELF

15.03.2017

The European Lead Factory recently reached the milestone of having received over 1,000 library proposals for consideration.  These proposals have been considered by its Library Selection Committee, leading to the approval of 627 library designs for synthetic validation. To date, 143,529 novel...Read more

Over 1,000 library proposals submitted to ELF

15.03.2017

The European Lead Factory recently reached the milestone of having received over 1,000 library proposals for consideration.  These proposals have been considered by its Library Selection Committee, leading to the approval of 627 library designs for synthetic validation.

To date, 143,529 novel compounds, out of the 200,000 prospected compounds for the Public Compound Collection, have been synthesized, which means that the ELF compound collection grows daily by approximately 250 novel compounds to eventually constitute the 500,000 Joint European Compound Library (JECL). The Public Compound Collection is highly distinctive from existing collections, has yielded active hits against several classes of disease-related biological targets, and shows high biological specificity.

The exacting criteria of the library design selection and unique chemical space that  covers has been described in an article in Drug Discovery Today and the important role of this unique library and the European Lead Factory project in early drug discovery research highlighted in Frontiers in Medicine.


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Virtual biotech company launched to battle Parkinson’s

08.03.2017

In a world-first type of collaboration, Parkinson’s UK and the University of Sheffield have launched a joint venture biotech company, Keapstone Therapeutics. Parkinson’s UK has allocated 1 million GBP over the next sixteen months to further develop compounds that boost the internal cellular defence...Read more

Virtual biotech company launched to battle Parkinson’s

08.03.2017

In a world-first type of collaboration, Parkinson’s UK and the University of Sheffield have launched a joint venture biotech company, Keapstone Therapeutics. Parkinson’s UK has allocated 1 million GBP over the next sixteen months to further develop compounds that boost the internal cellular defence mechanisms against oxidative stress. These compounds were discovered by IMI’s European Lead Factory.

Dr Richard Mead (University of Sheffield) confirmed the pivotal role of the European Lead Factory: ‘It would have been absolutely impossible without the high-quality work that the European Lead Factory provided. From assisting with protein production, the optimisation of the HTS assay, developing a totally new biophysical assay, the hit expansion and medicinal chemistry, new protein constructs, and finally also solving inhibitor-bound protein crystal structures.’ This formed a solid package of a well-validated target and well-characterised compounds with attractive physicochemical properties.

Dr Mead also acknowledged the superior performance of the Joint European Compound Library. He works with a challenging protein-protein interaction target, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein-1 (KEAP1) and Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), and a challenging disease area that requires the future drug molecules to penetrate the blood–brain barrier. ‘Many, including ourselves, have screened various commercial and academic libraries, but never found anything useful. The diversity and quality of the Joint European Compound Library is not available anywhere else.’ Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson's UK, said: ‘We were convinced that these early results are really good starting points in developing new treatments for Parkinson's and formed Keapstone Therapeutics as a new way to further this research’.

Parkinson's UK aims to improve the lives of people with Parkison’s disease. This is the first time that a patient organization is involved in a single asset company. Currently 1.2 million people in Europe are affected by Parkinson’s disease. This devastating condition is causing an enormous economic and social burden. Although a lot of research has been directed towards this neurodegenerative disease, it remains incurable.

Read the press release from Parkinson’s UK and University of Sheffield.


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World Cancer Day 2017

04.02.2017

We can. I can. That is the message that is spread during World Cancer Day, on 4 February. How can you – as a collective or as an individual – take action to reduce the global burden of cancer? The European Lead Factory currently has 34 programmes that focus on various targets related to cancer. In these...Read more

World Cancer Day 2017

04.02.2017

We can. I can. That is the message that is spread during World Cancer Day, on 4 February. How can you – as a collective or as an individual – take action to reduce the global burden of cancer? The European Lead Factory currently has 34 programmes that focus on various targets related to cancer. In these programmes innovative approaches are used to find starting points for new drugs to fight this disease.

One of the programmes is run by the University of Dundee. The programme, which currently is in the high-throughput screening phase, focuses on escape mechanisms cancer cells use to evade the effects of chemotherapy. Programme owner Dr Andrew Pannifer clarified ‘Cancer cells that are under metabolic stress, for instance caused by chemotherapy, develop various mechanisms, which reduce the efficacy of the treatment.’ The researchers at the University of Dundee are exploiting an enzyme that can be inhibited and that way shut down one of these escape mechanisms. It would make current treatment more effective and more potentially more tolerable. “Existing tool compounds are not potent enough, that’s why we turned to the European Lead Factory to screen the Joint European Compound Library. ‘It’s very good that we can use our local expertise network in this area for novel drug discovery at the European Lead Factory.’

Please also check out the initiative World Cancer Day on www.worldcancerday.org.


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Committed to strengthening the antibiotic arsenal

23.01.2017

The European Lead Factory (ELF) is boosting the discovery of new drugs by making high throughput screening and a quality compound library available to academia and biotech’s. To be eligible, the proposed project has to meet certain conditions. For example, the project should be considered as innovative...Read more

Committed to strengthening the antibiotic arsenal

23.01.2017

The European Lead Factory (ELF) is boosting the discovery of new drugs by making high throughput screening and a quality compound library available to academia and biotech’s. To be eligible, the proposed project has to meet certain conditions. For example, the project should be considered as innovative and it should be possible to optimize the associated assay for high throughput screening.

 

Multi-resistant gastrointestinal pathogens
Dr Monika Schütz and Jonas Malte Schweers at the Tübingen University Hospital and the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen (IMIT) are studying gut-derived pathogens in the framework of the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF). They have identified several target proteins involved e.g. in facilitating the attachment of bacteria to the human host cells, a mechanism that is key for virulence. The importance of this project is undoubted. The alarming emergence rate of strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics depletes the therapeutic arsenal needed for treating gastrointestinal infections. ‘The results that we collect when studying this target are of great importance for further studies in antibiotics resistance. This shows the importance of an initiative such as the European Lead Factory, which makes it possible to access a large and high-quality compound collection.’ said Monika Schütz, project leader at (IMIT).

 

Assay optimization
When they learnt about the opportunities in the European Lead Factory, they were eager to submit one of their targets. ‘We had developed an assay in-house in a 348-well format. However, to perform a high throughput screening with our target we had to optimize it further as we couldn’t achieve the required accuracy with our equipment,’ told Jonas Malte Schweers, PhD student in Schütz’s group, who spent few days at Pivot Park Screening Centre, the ELF partner responsible for assay development and high-throughput screening. ‘It was a real eye-opener what you can achieve with the infrastructure, expertise and experience present at Pivot Park Screening Centre.’ Schütz confirmed ‘In fact, the list of assay requirements for the EU Lead Factory programmes have become the standard guidelines used by all members of DZIF. If they are fulfilled, we know that the assay and target is suitable for a larger screening campaign.’

 

Next steps
‘First of all the University of Oxford is helping us to purify and produce enough target protein to enable a high-throughput screening campaign,’ Schütz told. ‘The next step we will take will be the actual screening of our target. We expect this to be done in January 2017. In parallel, we’re developing several secondary assays to prove true engagement of the hit compounds with the bacterial target, e.g. a micro-scale thermophoresis (MST) assay in collaboration with the ELF scientists at University of Dundee and solution NMR protocols.’ The aim is to use the resulting ELF compounds in Schütz’s mouse model and establish pharmaceutical proof-of-concept in vivo. Then they could convince DZIF to fund the medicinal chemistry and preclinical work to translate this innovative approach to clinical uses. Finally, Schweers confessed ‘I would love to go to Pivot Park Screening Centre again!’ Indeed, the group is already considering submitting another proposal to ELF.


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A blueprint for public-private partnerships in early drug discovery

19.01.2017

A recent review in Frontier in Medicine describes the outcomes and learnings of the first three-and-half years of European Lead Factory operations. It gives an overview of the unique characteristics and results of the programme: ‘ELF enables breakthroughs in areas with unmet medical and societal needs,...Read more

A blueprint for public-private partnerships in early drug discovery

19.01.2017

A recent review in Frontier in Medicine describes the outcomes and learnings of the first three-and-half years of European Lead Factory operations. It gives an overview of the unique characteristics and results of the programme: ‘ELF enables breakthroughs in areas with unmet medical and societal needs, where no individual entity would be able to create a comparable impact in such a short time’.

In less than four years, IMI’s EU Lead Factory has generated over 4,500 promising hit compounds in 83 successfully completed high-throughput screening campaigns at the industry and public screening centres. More than 120,000 novel compounds have been synthesised, adding to the 327,000 compounds that were made available by participating pharmaceutical companies giving the project a flying start in 2013. The public-private partnership offers a unique platform for translation of innovative biology and chemistry into starting points for novel drug discovery programmes.

The paper concludes that the EU Lead Factory has matured from a start-up initiative to a well-organised group of over 150 scientists. Furthermore, it has involved researchers in 13 countries with, so far, 72 public screening programmes from the wider European life science community. The outcomes have enabled these scientists to file patents, form new alliances and successfully apply for further grants. More importantly, the results from these programmes can be further developed into drug candidates, tool compounds or diagnostics, contributing to solutions for unmet medical needs. Public-private partnerships such as EU Lead Factory can shape the future of medicines. ‘ELF could serve as a blueprint of how future PPPs might operate in order to efficiently find cures that could reach patients in dire need of new treatments.’

Read the full publication here.


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PDE4NPD and the European Lead Factory team up: parasite enzyme up for ultra-HTS against 450,000 compounds

19.01.2017

With help of the European Lead Factory, the Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors for Neglected Parasitic Diseases (PDE4NPD) project takes the next step towards developing novel drugs against kinetoplastid parasites such as Trypanosoma brucei, the causative parasite of African sleeping sickness, and Trypanosoma...Read more

PDE4NPD and the European Lead Factory team up: parasite enzyme up for ultra-HTS against 450,000 compounds

19.01.2017

With help of the European Lead Factory, the Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors for Neglected Parasitic Diseases (PDE4NPD) project takes the next step towards developing novel drugs against kinetoplastid parasites such as Trypanosoma brucei, the causative parasite of African sleeping sickness, and Trypanosoma cruzi, causing Chagas disease. Together, PDE4NPD and the EU Lead Factory will screen 450,000 compounds for their potential to inhibit one of the parasite PDEs the project has validated.

Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDEs) are validated drug targets of many non-communicable diseases. There are also several proofs of their importance in the life cycle of many parasites causing devastating tropical diseases. Within the framework of the PDE4NPD project, an assay was developed that allows for high-throughput screening (HTS) of compounds against one of these parasite PDEs. With this assay, the PDE4NPD project could meet the technical requirements of European Lead Factory and saw a chance to submit a proposal. Last week, the project received good news: the EU Lead Factory accepted the application.

The EU Lead Factory Screening Selection Committee confirmed the high quality of the proposal: “It’s an attractive approach with a well validated target. There is a high medical need, but finding selective inhibitors over human PDEs will be challenging.”

Prof Rob Leurs, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and PDE4NPD Principal Investigator commented “Over the years, we’ve learnt which protein-ligand interactions provide specificity for the parasite PDEs. What we now need are scaffolds that will allow in vivo work. We are convinced that the high quality of the EU Lead Factory compound collection can provide that.”

On short notice, the PDE4NPD project, represented by the VU University Amsterdam, and the EU Lead Factory will form a programme team to ensure optimal planning, transfer, execution of the screen and hit selection.

Picture of Trypanosoma cruzi, one of the parasites targeted by PDE4NPD, courtesy of Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz).


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Sharing compounds in the Sharing Economy

16.12.2016

The latest issue of BioCentury Innovations focuses on open innovation within early drug discovery and compound sharing, with the European Lead Factory as one of the best practices, with the largest compound library openly available. More and more pharmaceutical companies open their compound libraries in...Read more

Sharing compounds in the Sharing Economy

16.12.2016

The latest issue of BioCentury Innovations focuses on open innovation within early drug discovery and compound sharing, with the European Lead Factory as one of the best practices, with the largest compound library openly available. More and more pharmaceutical companies open their compound libraries in collaboration with the external community and/or other companies. The power of collective knowledge will lead to better hits for drug development. There are different models for sharing compounds, such as handing over a small number of libraries to academic researchers, swapping between two companies, or, like EU Lead Factory, pooled compounds from several companies with central coordination. Stefan Jaroch, head of external innovation technologies at the Pharmaceuticals Division of Bayer AG explains: “For Bayer, the math is simple. We bring in 50,000 compounds, and have the opportunity to screen, at the end of the day 500,000 compounds. I think there’s certain leverage in that.”.

Read the full article.


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PhD thesis enhanced with EU Lead Factory results and compounds

01.12.2016

The European Lead Factory is proud to announce the first doctoral promotion based on compounds screened with the EU Lead Factory project. On 1 December Freek Janssen defended his thesis on drug discovery and target validation for the Leiden University. “My advice to other academics: apply for the EU...Read more

PhD thesis enhanced with EU Lead Factory results and compounds

01.12.2016

The European Lead Factory is proud to announce the first doctoral promotion based on compounds screened with the EU Lead Factory project. On 1 December Freek Janssen defended his thesis on drug discovery and target validation for the Leiden University.

“My advice to other academics: apply for the EU Lead Factory as soon as possible!

Janssen investigated novel drug molecules under guidance of Dr Mario van der Stelt of the Molecular Physiology group at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry. One of the main targets, diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL), is a protein that makes endocannabinoids, the body’s own marijuana. Pharmacologically comparable to THC in marijuana, endocannabinoids have an effect on many physiological functions, such as emotional state or increased appetite (munchies). Janssen and his group used a target validation strategy to see if this protein could be a target for treatments of, for instance, obesity or neurodegenerative disorders. For his study he was rewarded by the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry as the best oral presenter at the EFMC-YMCS’16.

Janssen started with an assay from the literature, that he adapted to comply with EU Lead Factory assay requirements. After it was accepted by EU Lead Factory, the assay was further optimised and miniaturised. “The expertise of the European Lead Factory is really impressive. I learned a lot about the approach of assay development.”

The European Lead Factory gave Janssen’s research a flying start. “The access to the expertise and the very high quality drug-like compounds in the Joint European Compound Library is unique. We first screened a commercial library, but those hits could not be validated and I wasted a lot of time on deselection.”

Janssen’s thesis discloses for the first time ever chemical structures of EU Lead Factory qualified hit compounds. Several interesting chemotypes were discovered. One was actually already known by Janssen and his colleagues: “Inspired by a patented structure, we published a compound series in 2013, but the EU Lead Factory analogues are actually much more promising. We have optimised them to attain a selective and drug-like compound.” Some of the developed compounds have been tested and showed promising results in an in vivo model.

Cooperating with the EU Lead Factory was not only beneficial for the research of Janssen. “Currently there are three PhD students and several undergraduate students working on projects based on the QHL from EU Lead Factory”.  Together with EU Lead Factory, Janssen was able to do what he likes to do best: explore new territories, undiscovered grounds, and by that helping people that for instance inherited a disease: “If I can contribute to that, with only a hit or a lead, that’s what I really like to do”. After a well-deserved holiday, Janssen looks forward to continue his career in biological chemistry. The research group of Mario van der Stelt will continue working with the targets; with the aim of eventually develop them into treatments for patients.  

We congratulate Freek Janssen to his PhD degree and wish him all the best in his future career!


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European Lead Factory drug-like hit leads to creation of a spin-out

23.11.2016

Dr. Margit Mahlapuu, one of the academic researchers who has benefited from EU Lead Factory screening activities by identifying a drug candidate series for type 2 diabetes, went on to create a spin-out company based on these results. Dr Mahlapuu’s group, based at the University of Gothenburg, first...Read more

European Lead Factory drug-like hit leads to creation of a spin-out

23.11.2016

Dr. Margit Mahlapuu, one of the academic researchers who has benefited from EU Lead Factory screening activities by identifying a drug candidate series for type 2 diabetes, went on to create a spin-out company based on these results. Dr Mahlapuu’s group, based at the University of Gothenburg, first identified a new target which could be used to reverse metabolic complications in type 2 diabetes. With the help of the European Lead Factory experts, she then screened the Joint European Compound Library of the then 320 000 industry compounds and identified a set of selective and potent small molecules which interfere with this target. ‘The European Lead Factory provided the missing piece in the puzzle – a potent, selective compound that could enable pharmaceutical validation of the target and provides a strong starting point for further development towards the clinic.’ Margit explained.

She went on to create a spin-out company, ScandiCure, whose aim is to further develop these molecules into a first-in-class anti-diabetic drug. The company already secured an investment from GU Ventures AB, an investment company and an incubator owned by the Swedish state. This is the first spin-out created as a result of the European Lead Factory, but project representatives hope it won’t be the last. ‘As the European Lead Factory offers access to high-quality compounds to any researcher in the EU, similar spin-outs in various disease domains are expected in the future’, said Ton Rijnders of Lygature, one of the European Lead Factory project partners. ‘The value of such spin-outs is not only in the expected commercialization of products developed, but also in the societal impact. European Lead Factory contributes to the faster development of new innovative medicines, which will eventually benefit the patient.’


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Early Career Researcher Event (Lisbon)

21.11.2016

The European Lead Factory acknowledges the need for open exchange between researchers with different professional background and puts a focus on the career development of young scientists. Read more.Read more

Early Career Researcher Event (Lisbon)

21.11.2016

The European Lead Factory acknowledges the need for open exchange between researchers with different professional background and puts a focus on the career development of young scientists.

Read more.


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ENABLE takes on Oxford antibiotic resistance programme

17.11.2016

The University of Oxford takes the next step in targeting antimicrobial resistance, with help of the results and hit compounds delivered by the European Lead Factory. The Oxford team, led by Professor Chris Schofield, has got the opportunity to collaborate with the European Gram-Negative Antibacterial...Read more

ENABLE takes on Oxford antibiotic resistance programme

17.11.2016

The University of Oxford takes the next step in targeting antimicrobial resistance, with help of the results and hit compounds delivered by the European Lead Factory. The Oxford team, led by Professor Chris Schofield, has got the opportunity to collaborate with the European Gram-Negative Antibacterial Engine (ENABLE) project to further progress this programme towards clinical development.

The Oxford team had the EU Lead Factory screen their potential target against the Joint European Compound Library of the then >300,000 compounds provided by the industry partners. The high throughput screen and initial triaging provided 50 qualified hits. Multiple series of compounds were validated through resynthesis, biochemical and biophysical profiling at the European Screening Centre site in Newhouse, complemented with ligand–protein crystallography and antimicrobial evaluation at University of Oxford. According to EU Lead Factory’s Phil Jones (University of Dundee) “close collaboration with the Oxford team resulted in highly potent and selective compounds with favourable physicochemical properties, less than 5 months after the initial hit list had been delivered.”

With these results Professor Schofield turned to ENABLE, a project funded through IMI with the mission to develop programmes against gram-negative pathogens to clinical trials.
Professor Chris Schofield stresses the importance of EU programmes such as ENABLE and the European Lead Factory in “transforming an almost impossible task for an individual academic group into a solid scientific and commercially viable pathway.”

Further information
European projects major boost for antibiotic programme from University of Oxford (press release).


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Euronews interview on EU Lead Factory now available online in 13 languages

01.11.2016

Business Planet Magazine interviewed Dimitrios Tzalis (Founder & CEO of Taros) and Jan Skriwanek (Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) state representative of Germany) on the role of SMEs in the EU Lead Factory. The interview highlights the importance and benefits of SMEs cooperating  within...Read more

Euronews interview on EU Lead Factory now available online in 13 languages

01.11.2016

Business Planet Magazine interviewed Dimitrios Tzalis (Founder & CEO of Taros) and Jan Skriwanek (Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) state representative of Germany) on the role of SMEs in the EU Lead Factory. The interview highlights the importance and benefits of SMEs cooperating  within the EU Lead Factory to accelerate drug development. The video is broadcasted on Euronews from 29 October to 2 November 2016. In case you missed it, the video clip can now be streamed in 13 languages! Watch it here.


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EU Lead Factory broadcasted in Business Planet Magazine of Euronews

26.10.2016

Dimitrios Tzalis (Head of Chemistry & CEO of Taros) and Jan Skriwanek (Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) state representative of Germany) explain all about the EU Lead Factory and the role of SMEs in an upcoming Business Planet Magazine interview that will be broadcasted this week on...Read more

EU Lead Factory broadcasted in Business Planet Magazine of Euronews

26.10.2016

Dimitrios Tzalis (Head of Chemistry & CEO of Taros) and Jan Skriwanek (Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) state representative of Germany) explain all about the EU Lead Factory and the role of SMEs in an upcoming Business Planet Magazine interview that will be broadcasted this week on Euronews.

Business Planet Magazine regularly highlights successful European SMEs and the interesting projects in which they participating or leading. It is broadcasted in 13 languages in 158 countries and watched by 10 million viewers all over the world.

The current interview highlights the task of the EU Lead Factory in bridging the innovation gap, and thereby accelerating drug discovery. SMEs play a major role in the EU Lead Factory and are vital in the amalgamation of innovation from academia and experience from pharma. Not only the SMEs within the EU Lead Factory can benefit from the funding of the IMI, but also SMEs from outside can participate by submitting proposals.
In the interview Tzalis and Skriwanek explain the impact an SME can have on drug development through  public private partnerships in the EU.

 

When & where
The interview will be broadcasted at Euronews at the following airtimes:

Saturday 29 October 2016
   06:15   10:45
   19:45
  
Sunday 30 October03:1509:4517:45
Monday 31 October10:4517:1522:45
Tuesday 1 November10:1516:4520:4523:45
Wednesday 2 November15:1519:45

 

Please note that scheduled times may vary slightly due to breaking news events. All times listed are CET. The clip will be available on YouTube later on and can be streamed in 13 different languages.


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More than 100 Million data points generated

24.10.2016

European Lead Factory generates data from high throughput screening and detailed mechanistic studies at sites across Europe and these are deposited in a central database for analysis. Recently, the number of data points deposited passed the staggering number of 100,000,000. In this way, EU Lead Factory...Read more

More than 100 Million data points generated

24.10.2016

European Lead Factory generates data from high throughput screening and detailed mechanistic studies at sites across Europe and these are deposited in a central database for analysis. Recently, the number of data points deposited passed the staggering number of 100,000,000. In this way, EU Lead Factory enables individual researchers and biotechs to profit from large-scale, multi-partner infrastructure without compromising the confidentiality of their own research.

The data points relate to the screening and triaging data of the 125 targets that have been screened so far at the European Screening Centre and at the seven industry partners. The targets represent a diverse set of target classes with multiple representatives in many classes. The result is a large database of structure-activity information. To make sense of this volume of data, EU Lead Factory developed a unique project management and data analysis application; the Honest Data Broker (HDB). The HDB triage system can use all the data to give immediate feedback about selectivity profiles early in the screening process. Consequently, potential off-target effects can be identified and investigated further at an earlier stage. It also allows for rapid identification of promiscuous compounds, enabling these to be deprioritised.

Read more about the Honest Data Broker.


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Announcement of Early Career researcher event winners

24.10.2016

The European Lead Factory congratulates 18 early career researchers who have been selected to participate at the Annual Chemistry Learning & Achievements meeting hosting the Early Career Researcher Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, 3-4 November 2016! Sònia Abás Prades, Masakazu Atobe, Hassen Bel Abed,...Read more

Announcement of Early Career researcher event winners

24.10.2016

The European Lead Factory congratulates 18 early career researchers who have been selected to participate at the Annual Chemistry Learning & Achievements meeting hosting the Early Career Researcher Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, 3-4 November 2016!

Sònia Abás Prades, Masakazu Atobe, Hassen Bel Abed, Claudia De Fusco, Laura Denman, Jessica Hall, Denisa Hidasová, Urszula Komarnicka, Josep Mas Rosello, Ciro Milite, Brendan Monks, Giacomo Padroni, Andrejs Pelss, Andrea Renzetti, Angeliki Roumana, Lisa Schneider, Monica Viviano, Akina Yoshizawa submitted library design ideas of such innovation and quality they were awarded bursaries to participate at the event. Raising the stakes, they will have a chance to further increase their glory, as they vie for the Early Career Researcher Award for the best flash poster presentation.

Adam Nelson, Professor at University of Leeds and Chair of the European Lead Factory Library Design Selection Committee: “I am really looking forward to hearing about the exciting chemistry that will be presented by the Early Career researcher event winners. The event will give them an opportunity to understand how innovative chemistry may be translated into screening libraries; and to network with researchers from pharma, SMEs and academia.“




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Scottish funding for ELF-standard assay development

14.10.2016

The Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA) has established a fund to help Scottish academics develop ELF-standard assays for their drug targets with the knowledge and expertise at the ESC Newhouse (University of Dundee). The outcomes have recently been described in an article published in...Read more

Scottish funding for ELF-standard assay development

14.10.2016

The Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA) has established a fund to help Scottish academics develop ELF-standard assays for their drug targets with the knowledge and expertise at the ESC Newhouse (University of Dundee). The outcomes have recently been described in an article published in the renowned journal Drug Discovery Today.

High throughput screening (HTS) requires high quality, robust assays with a good enough window of signal relative to the noise to be suitable for identifying potentially a handful of active compounds amongst hundreds of thousands or millions of inactives. This is the reason for having strict selection criteria on assay quality within the European Lead Factory. A difficulty this presents, however, is that many academics have limited or no knowledge of developing such HTS-ready assays.

The effects of the SULSA initiative show that a regional funding mechanism has, with modest investment, translated basic academic science into drug discovery opportunities, leveraged significant follow-on funding, and provided a new drug discovery training platform for early career scientists.


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EU Lead Factory publications are of high impact

07.10.2016

According to the IMI Bibliometric report 2016, the scientific publication output from the EU Lead Factory is in top of its class, the 14 projects from IMI Call 5-11. The report evaluates the 29 publications that had been published in the first three years of the project. “Research associated with...Read more

EU Lead Factory publications are of high impact

07.10.2016

According to the IMI Bibliometric report 2016, the scientific publication output from the EU Lead Factory is in top of its class, the 14 projects from IMI Call 5-11. The report evaluates the 29 publications that had been published in the first three years of the project.

“Research associated with ELF was very well-cited with a citation impact of more than two times the world average (2.13), and 17% of papers that are highly-cited.”

It should be noted that the EU Lead Factory has a strong will to disseminate its results in the wider scientific community and has secured Open Access for several articles.  These are amazing results for a young project operating in the early stages of drug discovery. We expect many more articles and articles with higher impact in the future. The updated list of publications from the consortium can be found here.




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European Lead Factory results make a real impact on IMI stakeholders

06.10.2016

In September this year, the European Lead Factory (ELF) had the good fortune to highlight its achievements to the advisory groups of Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), ELF’s principal funding organisation. On 20 September, with the aid of presentations from three highly enthusiastic external ELF...Read more

European Lead Factory results make a real impact on IMI stakeholders

06.10.2016

In September this year, the European Lead Factory (ELF) had the good fortune to highlight its achievements to the advisory groups of Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), ELF’s principal funding organisation.

On 20 September, with the aid of presentations from three highly enthusiastic external ELF users, ELF’s Head of Screening Ton Rijnders addressed the IMI States Representatives Group (SRG) – a body comprising representatives from the IMI’s EU Member States and associated countries.

Dr Richard Mead of the University of Sheffield (UK) described how screening the European Lead Factory compound library had delivered eight ‘Qualified Hit List’ (QHL) compounds and over 100 analogues that could be promising in the treatment of Motor Neurone Disease / Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (MND / ALS) – a neurodegenerative condition that normally results in death within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis. In addition to delivering a series of compounds that are likely to penetrate the central nervous system, offering a genuine starting point for drug discovery, Dr Mead said that working with ELF had provided new insights into the mechanisms of MND / ALS and stimulated new research collaborations.

Dr Margit Mahlapuu of the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) described ELF’s role in helping her group to identify 49 QHL compounds and >100 analogues that target a novel kinase involved in Type 2 Diabetes, potentially providing new treatment strategies for the disease. She also reported that the successful results of working with ELF had led to new pharmacological tools and funding for further ‘mode-of-action’ studies, the creation of a spin-out company, and new partnering opportunities.

Rounding off these testimonials, Dr Joost Uitdehaag of the Netherlands Translational Research Centre (NTRC), a privately owned drug discovery SME based in Oss (The Netherlands), described his company’s work on a drugs for cancer immunotherapy that target IDO1 – an intracellular enzyme that is upregulated in cancer cells to prevent immune attack.

All three researchers confirmed the superior performance of the ELF drug discovery platform. In fact, all of them had previously performed screens using medium-sized public or in-house compound collections, which failed to deliver attractive hits.

Following their testimonial presentations, ELF Target Call Director Dr Jon de Vlieger provided further details of ELF’s mission and vision. Dr Dimitrios Tzalis, ELF Head of Chemistry and CEO of contract research company Taros Chemicals, then described how ELF was helping his company to bridge the ‘Valley of Death’ between scientific discovery and patient benefitting drugs, and the role that SMEs can play in the process.

On 30 September, Ton Rijnders gave an abridged version of these presentations to the IMI Scientific Committee, which provides strategic science-based advice to the IMI Governing Board.

“We are extremely pleased that IMI gave us this double opportunity to highlight in significant detail what the European Lead Factory has been able to achieve over the past three-and-a-half years,” said Ton.

“The European Lead Factory is in many ways one of IMI’s flagship projects, but when we first initiated it, no one had any idea of how successful it would turn out to be. The results have already exceeded all expectations,” commented IMI Executive Director Dr Pierre Meulien.

Photo from left to right: Dr Richard Mead (University of Sheffield), Dr Margit Mahlapuu (University of Gothenburg), Dr Joost Uitdehaag (Netherlands Translational Research Centre).


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Neglected tropical disease project from i3S 1st Portuguese selected by European Lead Factory

04.10.2016

The Parasite Disease Group, incorporated in the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S) and the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, is now joining the European research elite, as the first Portuguese team to introduce a project into the European Lead Factory (ELF). The group...Read more

Neglected tropical disease project from i3S 1st Portuguese selected by European Lead Factory

04.10.2016

The Parasite Disease Group, incorporated in the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S) and the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, is now joining the European research elite, as the first Portuguese team to introduce a project into the European Lead Factory (ELF). The group identified an enzyme, essential to the survival and virulence of the Leishmania parasite, and it has just been selected by ELF to be screened by the consortium.

Leishmania parasites cause leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease found in parts of tropics, subtropics and Southern Europe. The infection is transmitted through the bite of infected phlebotomine sand flies. Among the several forms of leishmaniasis, visceral leishmaniasis is the most severe form of the disease, which is fatal when left untreated. At the moment, there is no approved human vaccine and disease control relies mostly on chemotherapy, which is frequently linked to safety issues, drug resistance, among other issues, hindering disease eradication in endemic areas. Coming up with new chemotherapeutic options is, therefore, of utmost importance.

“We are very excited that the European Lead Factory is dedicating resources to our research programme. We expect to find, with this project, new and effective drugs that, by inhibiting a specific target enzyme, may provide a successful treatment for leishmaniasis”, Anabela Cordeiro-da-Silva, principal investigator at i3S, explains. The work that will be done by ELF is sure to play a pivotal role in this process.

Joana Tavares, research associate at the Parasite Disease Group, for her part, agrees “this is an invaluable opportunity to apply the achievements of fundamental research and contribute to novel treatment options for leishmaniasis.”

It is also worth stressing the highly collaborative nature of this project: prior to the proposal submission to ELF, the group had already been working in close proximity with the BioSciences Screening Unit at i3S, thus laying the groundwork for the project’s admission in ELF.

Photo from left to right: Joana Tavares, Professor Anabela Cordeiro da Silva and André Maia (in charge of the BioSciences Screening Unit).


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ELF: the talk of the international Medicinal Chemistry community at EFMC

12.09.2016

European Lead Factory noticeably stated its presence during the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC 2016) that took place last week in Manchester, European City of Science 2016. EU Lead Factory was represented by 9 partners presenting their work in several posters (5...Read more

ELF: the talk of the international Medicinal Chemistry community at EFMC

12.09.2016

European Lead Factory noticeably stated its presence during the XXIV EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC 2016) that took place last week in Manchester, European City of Science 2016.

EU Lead Factory was represented by 9 partners presenting their work in several posters (5 from academia and 7 from industry). The focus of the presented EU Lead Factory work was on the diversity and optimal physicochemical characteristics of the libraries produced for Public Compound Collection (PCC). Four poster presentations were sponsored by the EU Lead Factory industry partners: Dr Jurgen Brem, University of Oxford, related to the screening of antibacterial agents and Dr Ritika Sethi, Universtiy of Oxford, showing the crystal exploration in EU Lead Factory drug discovery; Dr Carlos Azevedo, Denmark Technical University, presenting natural-like small molecules libraries; and Dr Jalindar Padwal, Leiden University, highlighting sugar chemistry libraries.

The wide public of experts in the medicinal chemistry field created a perfect audience for Dr Mario van der Stelt from Leiden University to for the first time disclose bioactive ELF compounds structures EU Lead Factory results in the form of an oral communication on selective diacylglycerol lipase alpha inhibitors for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

A substantial interest in the community for the attractive chemical structures of the PCC was recorded not only during the poster sessions but also during the whole conference in the Exhibitors booths, where EU Lead Factory was represented by the five chemistry SMEs partners. The asset of the consortium was widely recognized as novel, full of potential set of starting points for early drug discovery projects. 

This biennial key medicinal chemistry symposium attracted this year 975 participants from industry and academia. Continuing the tradition of covering recent progress in drug research in major therapeutic areas, treatment of pain, CNS disorders, infections, cardiovascular diseases and cancer were the main topics.


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Fundacíon Botín encourages its researchers to use the European Lead Factory

15.07.2016

Fundacíon Botín encourages its researchers to use the European Lead Factory The Fundacíon Botín has published an interview with Jon de Vlieger (Lygature) in their Newsletter highlighting the opportunities for public researchers taking part the European Lead Factory. Fundacíon Botín is a Spanish...Read more

Fundacíon Botín encourages its researchers to use the European Lead Factory

15.07.2016

Fundacíon Botín encourages its researchers to use the European Lead Factory

The Fundacíon Botín has published an interview with Jon de Vlieger (Lygature) in their Newsletter highlighting the opportunities for public researchers taking part the European Lead Factory. Fundacíon Botín is a Spanish foundation committed to economic and social development. It funds biomedical research and provides management support in transferring knowledge to society. Read the full interview (in Spanish) with Jon de Vlieger.


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On the fast track to beat neglected tropical diseases

13.06.2016

The European Lead Factory has lowered the hurdles for non-profit drug discovery programmes in the area of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). For drug target programmes relating to the pathogens on the WHO list of neglected tropical diseases, clinical or diagnostic milestone payments will be waived,...Read more

On the fast track to beat neglected tropical diseases

13.06.2016

The European Lead Factory has lowered the hurdles for non-profit drug discovery programmes in the area of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). For drug target programmes relating to the pathogens on the WHO list of neglected tropical diseases, clinical or diagnostic milestone payments will be waived, thereby freeing charities and other organizations from financial obligations in their pursuit of new therapies for patients in the least developed countries.

The project is still open for proposals of drug targets to be screened at no cost for the submitter against the Joint European Compound Library, currently 400,000 screening compounds, whereof 80,000 newly synthesised to exacting criteria. Next to performing ultra-HTS screening, the project offers professional assistance with assay development, hit follow-up and medicinal chemistry all free of charge for the programme owner thanks to funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

Dr Eric Chatelain, Head of Drug Discovery at Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, encourage scientists working with a target-based approach for neglected tropical diseases to submit their programme. “It is great that the European Lead Factory reacts to the lack of effective drugs for neglected tropical diseases.”

Dr Achim Schnaufer, University of Edinburgh, has just received his so-called Qualified Hit List. “The compounds that were identified by the European Lead Factory have really promising properties and we look forward to building on these discoveries. We are very grateful for European Lead Factory's support for our efforts to develop new therapies for African sleeping sickness and other related diseases.”

In addition, further improvements to the project agreement have been made to the benefit of the programme owners.
For more information, go to https://www.europeanleadfactory.eu/how-to-submit/drug-target-assays/rights-obligations/ or contact the Programme Office directly. The Programme Office will contact already enrolled Programme Owners on an individual basis.

Picture of Trypanosoma cruzi, courtesy of Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)


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First Polish drug target programme selected

06.06.2016

A drug discovery programme involving an epigenetic target is the first drug target programme from Poland selected by the European Lead Factory. The selected drug target is a part of the oncology project developed by Selvita within its epigenetics platform. “The goal of this project is to discover new...Read more

First Polish drug target programme selected

06.06.2016

A drug discovery programme involving an epigenetic target is the first drug target programme from Poland selected by the European Lead Factory. The selected drug target is a part of the oncology project developed by Selvita within its epigenetics platform.

“The goal of this project is to discover new molecules within a specific genomic context that will enable more effective treatment of cancer, at the same time exhibiting fewer side effects than most of current oncology therapies do” – said Dr Krzysztof Brzozka, Chief Scientific Officer at Selvita.

Read the news on Selvita’s website.


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Bridging the Innovation Gap

10.05.2016

The European Lead Factory is described as ‘bridging the innovation gap’ in a recent Careers Feature in the journal Nature. The article highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in the Dutch life science sector. With eight partners based in the Netherlands, the European Lead Factory was...Read more

Bridging the Innovation Gap

10.05.2016

The European Lead Factory is described as ‘bridging the innovation gap’ in a recent Careers Feature in the journal Nature. The article highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in the Dutch life science sector. With eight partners based in the Netherlands, the European Lead Factory was picked as an example. Representatives from two EU Lead Factory partners, Pivot Park Screening Centre and Lygature, were interviewed. Read more here!


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First Spanish programme selected

03.05.2016

The first drug target programme from Spain has been selected by The European Lead Factory. It involves an epigenetic target against cancer that is being investigated by the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) at the University of Navarra. Dr. Julen Oyarzabal, Director of Translational Science...Read more

First Spanish programme selected

03.05.2016

The first drug target programme from Spain has been selected by The European Lead Factory. It involves an epigenetic target against cancer that is being investigated by the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) at the University of Navarra.

Dr. Julen Oyarzabal, Director of Translational Science and the Molecular Therapy Program at CIMA, explains, “The goal of this project is to identify new molecules that enable more effective treatments against cancer with fewer side effects”. At the same time, he says, “our study also allows us to assess their impact on other diseases of the central nervous system, cardiac complaints and metabolic illnesses”. Read more

The picture shows the laboratory researchers involved in discovering small molecules at CIMA, from left to right: Julen Oyarzabal, Irene de Miguel Turullols, Elena Saez de Blas, Juan Antonio Sánchez and Obdulia Rabal.


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Combinatorial library optimization process

22.04.2016

The public part of Joint European Compound Library (JECL) is built using many small libraries (typically about 500 compounds per library) based around innovative scaffolds. Before the actual production of a new library for JECL can begin, a validation document is prepared by the one of the five...Read more

Combinatorial library optimization process

22.04.2016

The public part of Joint European Compound Library (JECL) is built using many small libraries (typically about 500 compounds per library) based around innovative scaffolds. Before the actual production of a new library for JECL can begin, a validation document is prepared by the one of the five companies responsible for the synthesis of the library, together with Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC). LDC’s task is to  maximize the diversity and the novelty of the new compounds and to ensure that the compounds are in the medicinal chemistry property space. Diversity is not only assessed purely from a structural point of view but more importantly also the spread of physicochemical properties.

The first step in the library optimization is to search for all chemical building blocks that are applicable to the synthesis routes. After an initial price filtering, the affordable building blocks are filtered based on their physicochemical properties such as molecular weight and calculated logP. The remaining building blocks are then passed through several sub-structural filters that include both proprietary filters provided by the seven EFPIA partners and publicly available ones for example to exclude Pan Assay Interference Compounds (PAINS). After these filtering steps, there is usually a manageable number of building blocks left so that the synthetic accessibility of the building blocks can be evaluated manually by a chemist responsible for synthesis. Based on his/her feedback, the building blocks for production are selected so that the diversity of the produced compounds is maximized.

Before the library design is finalized, there are several quality controls in place to ensure that both novelty and diversity aspects of the new library are taken into account. The potential new library is compared against JECL, previously enumerated European Lead Factory compounds and public databases such as eMolecules and ChEMBL. The library design is adjusted if overly similar compounds have been included in the initial enumeration. The success rate for the library synthesis is estimated to be 50-70%, so usually around 1000 molecules are designed to allow the production of the final library with 500 compounds.

 

For more detailed information, please see the poster presented at The 10th International Conference on Chemical Structures (ICCS) and the 10th German Conference on Chemoinformatics (GCC), Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands.


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Thirty partners - four years together in the lead

20.04.2016

Entering its fourth year of operations, the European Lead Factory now reaps the first results which were presented at the project's 4th General Assembly in Leiden. Read more.Read more

Thirty partners - four years together in the lead

20.04.2016

Entering its fourth year of operations, the European Lead Factory now reaps the first results which were presented at the project's 4th General Assembly in Leiden. Read more.


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Nature Reviews Drug Discovery: ‘European Lead Factory hits its stride’

01.04.2016

Today, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery published a News & Analysis article: ‘European Lead Factory hits its stride.’ It features quotes from public and private partners, discussing EU Lead Factory progress, successes, scientific quality and outstanding challenges. The article follows a 2013 news...Read more

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery: ‘European Lead Factory hits its stride’

01.04.2016

Today, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery published a News & Analysis article: ‘European Lead Factory hits its stride.’ It features quotes from public and private partners, discussing EU Lead Factory progress, successes, scientific quality and outstanding challenges. The article follows a 2013 news release by the same journal, which was published when the EU Lead Factory started its collaborative efforts in drug discovery.


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IHL phase passes the thousand compounds mark for public programmes

23.03.2016

Public target programmes that have received a promising Qualified Hit List (QHL) have the possibility to continue their collaboration with the European Lead Factory with the aim of producing an Improved Hit List (IHL). The aim of the IHL phase is to validate the hits identified during the HTS triage....Read more

IHL phase passes the thousand compounds mark for public programmes

23.03.2016

Public target programmes that have received a promising Qualified Hit List (QHL) have the possibility to continue their collaboration with the European Lead Factory with the aim of producing an Improved Hit List (IHL). The aim of the IHL phase is to validate the hits identified during the HTS triage. This includes re-synthesis of selected QHL compounds to provide an authentic solid sample for hit characterisation, evidence for mechanism of action and further biochemical and biophysical profiling. Hit expansion around promising chemotypes is then carried out to develop early structure activity relationships. Crystallography and computational modelling is used to guide the medicinal chemistry design process. To date, 17 programmes have entered this phase and more than 1000 compounds have been synthesised and tested by the scientists of the European Screening Centre, Newhouse.

The diversity of compounds arriving on QHLs is considerable and so far over 250 different Bemis-Murcko scaffolds have been prepared.  The efforts of the contributing scientists has resulted in the delivery of potent, well validated and tractable Hit Series for programme owners to exploit and continue their research efforts. The people in the picture are members of the Newhouse group in Scotland.


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Early Career Researcher Event

07.03.2016

The recent Annual Learnings and Achievements Meeting and the associated Early Career session has been considered a success by all participants. Listen to some of the young scientists, leading EU Lead Factory partners and prize winner Elena Lenci in our event report.Read more

Early Career Researcher Event

07.03.2016

The recent Annual Learnings and Achievements Meeting and the associated Early Career session has been considered a success by all participants. Listen to some of the young scientists, leading EU Lead Factory partners and prize winner Elena Lenci in our event report.


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European Lead Factory has commenced a drug screening campaign for one of Effecta Pharma’s Dengue viral targets

27.01.2016

"We are excited we can continue our initial collaboration with the EU Lead Factory and its European Screening Centre researchers in Oss, Oxford and  Newhouse, which has yielded a screenable assay for one of the critical Dengue virus proteins. Having the EU Lead Factory as part of our concerted...Read more

European Lead Factory has commenced a drug screening campaign for one of Effecta Pharma’s Dengue viral targets

27.01.2016

"We are excited we can continue our initial collaboration with the EU Lead Factory and its European Screening Centre researchers in Oss, Oxford and  Newhouse, which has yielded a screenable assay for one of the critical
Dengue virus proteins. Having the EU Lead Factory as part of our concerted effort to generate preclinical candidates for Dengue  is welcome support for Effecta and the patients suffering from this disease”, Effecta’s Directors Helmuth van Es and Paul Edwards said.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus and transmitted by certain mosquitoes. Cases are on the rise worldwide, as the disease-bearing mosquitoes spread through globalisation. Furthermore, one mosquito species capable of spreading the virus is now spreading into cooler regions, including Europe. Moreover, as dengue is closely related to the Zika virus, the researchers are hopeful that the results of their dengue programme could prove useful in the fight against Zika.

Go to press release.

(updated 15-03-2016)


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EU Lead Factory Early Career Researcher Event showcases novel ideas in Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry in Barcelona, Spain

22.01.2016

The European Lead Factory acknowledges the need for open exchange between researchers with different professional background and puts a focus on the career development of young scientists. Therefore the Chemistry Consortium of the European Lead Factory annually invites young talented EU Lead Factory...Read more

EU Lead Factory Early Career Researcher Event showcases novel ideas in Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry in Barcelona, Spain

22.01.2016

The European Lead Factory acknowledges the need for open exchange between researchers with different professional background and puts a focus on the career development of young scientists. Therefore the Chemistry Consortium of the European Lead Factory annually invites young talented EU Lead Factory Chemists from participating SMEs and Academic Institutions to a Learnings and Achievements meeting where they can present their scientific work, interact with their colleagues and liaise with representatives from participating EFPIA and SME partners.

For this year’s event and in response to an expressed interest within the Chemistry Community, nineteen Early Career Researchers external to the EU Lead Factory have been invited to participate, originating from 13 countries all over Europe. The meeting programme was extended to offer a workshop about the rationale of high quality library design for Drug Discovery as well as a Career Opportunity Session with representatives from academia, pharma, SME.

External participants have been selected by an external reviewer (independent from the EU Lead Factory) after sending in their own library ideas that were evaluated along the same criteria applying to scaffold submissions to the EU Lead Factory programme. They were awarded free participation in the event, reimbursement of accommodation and travel costs.

Together with 64 participants from the EU Lead Factory, researchers enjoyed a high-quality scientific agenda with 20 presentations on synthetic chemistry, a key note lecture by Professor Adam Nelson from the University of Leeds and 39 posters. The invited external young researchers had the opportunity to present their own research in form of 19 flash presentations supported by a poster session.

Synthetic chemistry constitutes a cornerstone of pharmaceutical drug discovery programmes. Senior industry representatives in the audience were impressed by the innovative library designs presented by the young scientist.

“The ideas flowing into the project from academic and SME partners enhance the quality of the Joint European Compound Library and open up new chemical space” states Dimitrios Tzalis, Head of the Chemistry Consortium. “We hope that we could show to our external scholars today the kind of opportunities that participation in the EU Lead Factory offers to young scientists. At a crucial point of their career, we want to motivate them to become a part of the project by submitting their own library ideas.”

After a successful event, a jury awarded prizes for the best poster and presentations, kindly sponsored by UCB Pharma. The winners are: James Firth (University of Leeds) for best presentation on "Synthesis of Structurally Diverse 3D Scaffolds from Simple Furans", Daniel Blanco (Radboud University) for best poster titled "Rigid Tricyclic Amino Ketones by Intramolecular Cycloaddition and Libraries Thereof" and Elena Lenci (University of Florence) for best flash presentation on "Diversity-Oriented Synthesis of Carbohydrate-derived Scaffolds".

The event continues the tradition of knowledge sharing and reciprocal education between partners of the EU Lead Factory and for the first time reached out to the larger scientific community with the intend to engage the brightest young minds in their Drug Discovery Programme.


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JECL sparks Drug Discovery community interest

21.12.2015

Just one month after publication, the Drug Discovery Today article by Karawajczyk et al describing the quality of the JECL public compounds has reached Top 5 of the most downloaded articles of this prestigious journal. This demonstrates an active interest in the innovative chemistry that flows into the...Read more

JECL sparks Drug Discovery community interest

21.12.2015

Just one month after publication, the Drug Discovery Today article by Karawajczyk et al describing the quality of the JECL public compounds has reached Top 5 of the most downloaded articles of this prestigious journal. This demonstrates an active interest in the innovative chemistry that flows into the generation of a library of potentially drug-like compounds currently comprising 400,000 compounds available for any European researcher for screening through the European Lead Factory.


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The European Lead Factory has achieved significant milestones for 2015

16.12.2015

400,000 novel drug-like compounds are now compiled in the Joint European Compound Library (JECL); and 60 drug targets have been selected for screening. The collection JECL comprises 320,000 research compounds provided by the pharmaceutical industry and 80,000 innovative compounds synthesised in a...Read more

The European Lead Factory has achieved significant milestones for 2015

16.12.2015

400,000 novel drug-like compounds are now compiled in the Joint European Compound Library (JECL); and 60 drug targets have been selected for screening.

The collection JECL comprises 320,000 research compounds provided by the pharmaceutical industry and 80,000 innovative compounds synthesised in a joint effort by academic partners and chemistry SMEs. Exciting new chemistries are being created daily and are now being screened against potential drug targets. The European Lead Factory is on the right track to achieve its final goal to set-up a compound collection of 500,000 compounds by the end of 2017. All European researchers can apply to get access to these high-quality molecules at no upfront costs, submitting their potential drug target and associated screening assay.

Researchers with drug target programmes can not only benefit from JECL, but also from a modern HTS infrastructure and the extensive expertise at the European Screening Centre.  Already more than 500 hit compounds have been handed over to European academics and SMEs to kick-start their drug discovery programmes. The rapidly increasing interest in the industry-standard drug discovery platform is reflected by more than 100 applications received so far. To this date 60 programmes have been accepted, more than 30 have been screened and >20 receiving a Qualified Hit List Report underpin the success story of the EU Lead Factory.

To give your target a better chance of success and move from assay development to lead optimisation more quickly, contact the Programme Office or go to https://www.europeanleadfactory.eu/how-to-submit/


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TI Pharma is now Lygature

16.12.2015

Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma), one of the partners in the EU Lead Factory, will be named Lygature as from January 1st 2016. The name change follows the merger of TI Pharma and the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM). From now on, all emails previously sent out from the TI Pharma domain...Read more

TI Pharma is now Lygature

16.12.2015

Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma), one of the partners in the EU Lead Factory, will be named Lygature as from January 1st 2016. The name change follows the merger of TI Pharma and the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM). From now on, all emails previously sent out from the TI Pharma domain will be sent from Lygature.


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Award-winning HDB software published in Drug Discovery Today

14.12.2015

The Honest Data Broker (HDB), a cloud-based informatics system, has been developed specifically to balance the intellectual property and scientific requirements of the consortium partners regarding the unique HTS screening and triage workflow within the EU Lead Factory. It provides scientific...Read more

Award-winning HDB software published in Drug Discovery Today

14.12.2015

The Honest Data Broker (HDB), a cloud-based informatics system, has been developed specifically to balance the intellectual property and scientific requirements of the consortium partners regarding the unique HTS screening and triage workflow within the EU Lead Factory. It provides scientific triage tools, fine-grained permissions and management tools to its users. The software, that was already awarded the BioIT Award 2015, has now been described in detail in a new publication in Drug Discovery Today.


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The Netherlands Translational Research Center (NTRC) has identified IDO1 inhibitors with best-in-class properties

10.12.2015

They have been developed from a series of inhibitor compounds first identified by screening the JECL of the European Lead Factory against IOD1 and TDO, important targets in cancer immunotherapy. Read the press release.Read more

The Netherlands Translational Research Center (NTRC) has identified IDO1 inhibitors with best-in-class properties

10.12.2015

They have been developed from a series of inhibitor compounds first identified by screening the JECL of the European Lead Factory against IOD1 and TDO, important targets in cancer immunotherapy.

Read the press release.


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Patent filed for European Lead Factory compounds

09.12.2015

Within 3 years after the launch of the European Lead Factory, the first patent protecting the outcomes of a drug target programme has been filed. The patent addresses multidrug resistance in bacterial infections. This important milestone reflects the EU Lead Factory’s ability to deliver on its promise,...Read more

Patent filed for European Lead Factory compounds

09.12.2015

Within 3 years after the launch of the European Lead Factory, the first patent protecting the outcomes of a drug target programme has been filed. The patent addresses multidrug resistance in bacterial infections. This important milestone reflects the EU Lead Factory’s ability to deliver on its promise, and highlights the potential of this shared-innovation approach to drug discovery.

The drug target programme was submitted to the EU Lead Factory for high-throughput screening by Professor Christopher Schofield and co-workers from the University of Oxford: “We had identified what we believed was a good target, but we did not have the resources to run high-throughput screening. That’s when we became aware of the EU Lead Factory. Jurgen Brem from our laboratory worked productively with the EU Lead Factory team to optimise a suitable assay.” 

The EU Lead Factory, supported by IMI, combines a high-throughput screening centre and a high-quality compound library. The screen against Schofield’s drug target identified an array of promising compounds that were subsequently optimised. The patent that was filed protects these compounds in combination with the biological effect.

Schofield: “Overall, we are extremely satisfied with the progress, from assay optimisation to post-hit validation, and the synthesis of follow up compounds/medicinal chemistry expertise.  The EU Lead Factory really offers a collaborative effort rather than a service, with an exemplary level of commitment and professionalism from the EU Lead Factory scientists on the different sites.”


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Praise for the EU Lead Factory

07.12.2015

Read the latest testimonial from a public drug target programme owner. Prof. Margit Mahlapuu said that the EU Lead Factory offered “A unique opportunity for academic researchers”.Read more

Praise for the EU Lead Factory

07.12.2015

Read the latest testimonial from a public drug target programme owner.

Prof. Margit Mahlapuu said that the EU Lead Factory offered “A unique opportunity for academic researchers”.


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Early Career Researcher Event

30.10.2015

EU Lead Factory welcomes PostDocs and PhDs On January 21-22 2016, the EU Lead Factory will host its third Learnings and Achievements meeting to exchange knowledge on scaffold design and medicinal chemistry. For the first time, external scientists are invited to participate in the meeting and in...Read more

Early Career Researcher Event

30.10.2015

EU Lead Factory welcomes PostDocs and PhDs

On January 21-22 2016, the EU Lead Factory will host its third Learnings and Achievements meeting to exchange knowledge on scaffold design and medicinal chemistry. For the first time, external scientists are invited to participate in the meeting and in an Early Career Researcher Event to foster scientific exchange and highlight the possibilities for Third Parties to participate in the EU Lead Factory’s crowdsourcing initiative. Up to 20 talented young researchers, who will be selected based on their library design ideas by an independent reviewer benefit from free participation incl. accommodation during the meeting and a reimbursement of travel costs of up to 250 €.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Barcelona!


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Midterm Report: Reviewers acknowledge “highly significant achievements”

30.10.2015

Independent reviewers acknowledged the achievements of EU Lead Factory as “highly significant” in the evaluation of the project’s midterm report. In addition to various very helpful comments, the reviewers emphasized that the EU Lead Factory bridges the gap between academia and pharma, and provides...Read more

Midterm Report: Reviewers acknowledge “highly significant achievements”

30.10.2015

Independent reviewers acknowledged the achievements of EU Lead Factory as “highly significant” in the evaluation of the project’s midterm report. In addition to various very helpful comments, the reviewers emphasized that the EU Lead Factory bridges the gap between academia and pharma, and provides "an avenue to raise the potential for speeding new medicines to patients". For a long-lasting success, the EU Lead Factory will now have to set-up a sophisticated, detailed approach to guarantee sustainability beyond the project period.


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European Lead Factory at Basel Life Science Week

28.09.2015

Last week, Basel was the scientific hub for 3,000 scientists in the field of drug discovery. The Basel Life Science Week provided an opportunity not to be missed by the European Lead Factory. Representatives from the EU Lead Factory Programme Office and two partners staffed a booth at the MipTec...Read more

European Lead Factory at Basel Life Science Week

28.09.2015

Last week, Basel was the scientific hub for 3,000 scientists in the field of drug discovery. The Basel Life Science Week provided an opportunity not to be missed by the European Lead Factory. Representatives from the EU Lead Factory Programme Office and two partners staffed a booth at the MipTec exposition, and presented the EU Lead Factory during the scientific programme “Shared innovation in Drug Discovery” on September 22nd. Both the booth and the presentation attracted many scientists interested in collaborating with the EU Lead Factory.

Are you also interested, but did you miss the opportunity to visit us at the Basel Life Science Week? Meet our experts at the BIO-Europe partnering event in Munich, Germany on November 2-4 or the BioFIT partnering event in Strasbourg, France on December 1st 2015.

The EU Lead Factory had a booth at the MipTec exposition.

 

 

 


During the EU Lead Factory symposium, Jon de Vlieger (EU Lead Factory Programme Office) presented an overview of the concept and possibilities.

 

 

Questions from the audience were answered in an interactive session with a panel of experts from the European Lead Factory. Helma Rutjes (Pivot Park Screening Centre) discussed the screening assay requirements, and Margit Mahlapuu (Gothenburg University) shared her experiences as a programme owner.


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Two new publications on library generation

25.09.2015

Partners of the European Lead Factory have published two articles highlighting the complexity of generating a competitive, diverse compound collection of high quality drug-like compounds. The paper by Karawajcek et al. in Drug Discovery Today describes the EU Lead Factory’s selection criteria...Read more

Two new publications on library generation

25.09.2015

Partners of the European Lead Factory have published two articles highlighting the complexity of generating a competitive, diverse compound collection of high quality drug-like compounds.

The paper by Karawajcek et al. in Drug Discovery Today describes the EU Lead Factory’s selection criteria for novel compound libraries  and presents an analysis of the high quality of compounds already generated within the chemistry consortium.

The publication of Tuomo Kalliokoski in ACS Combinatorial Science  looks at the challenges in generating chemically diverse libraries with distinctive 3-dimensional properties from a defined selection of reagent classes.

These publications illustrate that careful considerations for library design within the EU Lead Factory offer the chance to access truly novel chemical space.

The European Lead Factory welcomes researchers to submit their novel or published library designs. We will translate your ideas into lead molecules that will be screened against relevant drug targets. Your idea may lead to a successful drug for malaria, Alzheimers’, breast cancer or any other!


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European Lead Factory hits new landmark

10.09.2015

Over 50 public target programmes have now been accepted for screening at the European Lead Factory. During the summer holidays, work at the European Lead Factory continued. With the addition of 4 new innovative public target programmes originating from academia and SMEs throughout Europe, the European...Read more

European Lead Factory hits new landmark

10.09.2015

Over 50 public target programmes have now been accepted for screening at the European Lead Factory. During the summer holidays, work at the European Lead Factory continued. With the addition of 4 new innovative public target programmes originating from academia and SMEs throughout Europe, the European Lead Factory has now accepted 52 public target programmes out of 89 submitted proposals. While the majority of programmes are still in progress, already 18 QHL reports and 5 IHL reports have been delivered to the related applicants. Next to the public programmes, the planning of the 7th round of EFPIA target programmes has started and the amount of QHLs generated by the EFPIA partners is steadily growing as well.


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EU Lead Factory in Chemical & Engineering News

04.09.2015

The Chemical & Engineering News interviewed executives of the five chemistry CROs participating in the EU Lead Factory. The journal ascribes the initiative “an opportunity to expand chemistry CRO services into downstream drug development and the larger-scale manufacturing that goes with...Read more

EU Lead Factory in Chemical & Engineering News

04.09.2015

The Chemical & Engineering News interviewed executives of the five chemistry CROs participating in the EU Lead Factory. The journal ascribes the initiative “an opportunity to expand chemistry CRO services into downstream drug development and the larger-scale manufacturing that goes with it”.


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Review on EU Lead Factory now online

23.07.2015

A comprehensive overview on the EU Lead Factory as a successful experiment in collaborative drug discovery was recently published in the Journal of Medicines Development Sciences. The article written by Hugh Laverty (IMI’s Senior Project Officer) together with members of the consortium highlights...Read more

Review on EU Lead Factory now online

23.07.2015

A comprehensive overview on the EU Lead Factory as a successful experiment in collaborative drug discovery was recently published in the Journal of Medicines Development Sciences. The article written by Hugh Laverty (IMI’s Senior Project Officer) together with members of the consortium highlights recent achievements as well as challenges the large consortium is overcoming.


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EU Lead Factory discussed in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry issue

01.06.2015

The journal ‘Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry‘ has published a special issue on emerging approaches for the design and synthesis of small molecule libraries. Including 13 EU Lead Factory manuscripts, the European Lead Factory is strongly represented, demonstrating its high innovative character. All...Read more

EU Lead Factory discussed in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry issue

01.06.2015

The journal ‘Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry‘ has published a special issue on emerging approaches for the design and synthesis of small molecule libraries. Including 13 EU Lead Factory manuscripts, the European Lead Factory is strongly represented, demonstrating its high innovative character. All articles are available as open access publications.

The manuscripts demonstrate how the EU Lead Factory public compound collection covers uncharted chemical space enabling new approaches in high throughput biochemical screening. The emerging chemical scaffolds are not commercially available, and are not represented within the subset of the Join European Compound Library (JECL) contributed by EFPIA companies. As such, they represent innovative chemical motifs that are well suited for hit identification programmes.

The special issue reflects that the EU Lead Factory has set up an efficient pipeline for the design, validation and production of highly distinctive screening compounds.  This involves web-based submission of library proposals; assessment of the proposals by a committee with broad and complementary expertise; experimental validation of the proposed chemistry; and design and production of libraries based on validated chemistry.

The cover of the issue is jointly designed by Esther Vicente-Garcia, Veronica Estevez-Closas (VU Amsterdam) and Ruth Wong (TI Pharma).

Interested in EU Lead Factory’s latest publication?
See the Synthesis paper on bicyclic hydantoins by James D. Firth.


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Press Release: ELF wins award and delivers 50,000 new compounds

30.04.2015

The prestigious Bio-IT World Best Practices prize has been granted to the European Lead Factory (ELF) for its Honest Data Broker (HDB) implementation of the ScienceCloud platform from BIOVIA. ELF also announces the synthesis of >50,000 new high quality compounds based on public proposals....Read more

Press Release: ELF wins award and delivers 50,000 new compounds

30.04.2015

The prestigious Bio-IT World Best Practices prize has been granted to the European Lead Factory (ELF) for its Honest Data Broker (HDB) implementation of the ScienceCloud platform from BIOVIA. ELF also announces the synthesis of >50,000 new high quality compounds based on public proposals. These compounds were subsequently included in the Joint European Compound Library (JECL).

Andrew Pannifer from the University of Dundee and Herman van Vlijmen from Janssen led development of the HDB with BIOVIA. Andrew Pannifer said that winning the Best Practices prize in the Knowledge Management category brought official recognition to the ELF project’s achievements in designing and managing a unique Intellectual Property (IP) model: “Our custom implementation of ScienceCloud HDB is a core technology supporting the ELF project. It combines fine-grained permissions with efficient access to the vast range of chemistry and biology data it stores. Herman van Vlijmen said that HDB is a valuable research tool: “One of our key goals at the ELF has been to make sure that good science can be conducted while safeguarding IP interests.”

“Delivering collaboration and analysis capabilities with ScienceCloud in support of ELF’s Honest Data Broker application was a key goal”, said Mathew Hahn, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Dassault Systèmes-BIOVIA. “We are delighted to have won the Bio-IT World award with the ELF – particularly with the judges’ assessment that ‘ScienceCloud is the only platform in its class.’”

50,000 novel compounds added to the JECL

Professor Adam Nelson from the University of Leeds, and Chair of the Consortium's Library Selection Committee, said that new IT tools have also been developed to support the enhancement of the JECL: “The web-based submission tool built by ChemAxon has been instrumental in recruiting innovative chemistry proposals – with 550 library proposals already considered and new proposals coming in every month. Reaching 50,000 compounds successfully synthesised by consortium partners is a tremendous achievement at this stage of the project. ”

“Not only are we now a quarter of the way to our 200,000 public compound target, but the compounds themselves are proving to be very distinctive when compared with typical screening collections. They are much more three-dimensional, and they provide new areas of chemical space to be explored.”

 

Didier Roche, VP of Strategic Innovation, EDELRIS, said that a special Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Symposium in Print is being published in May, containing 13 articles describing some of the synthetic methods and scaffolds used to expand JECL: “We are seeing very clear evidence that the output of the ELF is allowing us to explore uncharted areas. There are diverse chemical scaffolds, which are not commercially available or represented within the subset of the JECL contributed by the EFPIA companies. The growing JECL is a key asset to enable the identification of compounds that modulate a wide range of novel target classes.”

Irene Norstedt, IMI* Acting Executive Director, said, “The European Lead Factory is a wonderful example of how IMI makes it possible for big pharmaceutical companies and talented scientists in many other organisations to pool their resources, creating a unique and much-needed infrastructure. The European Lead Factory is already helping researchers across Europe to advance their drug discovery programmes, and so will ultimately deliver benefits for patients and society.”

The European Lead Factory was established to promote the discovery of novel lead compounds, suitable for subsequent optimization either to drug candidates or to high‐quality pharmacological tools for the experimental validation of targets. Following a pre-competitive innovation model, the starting point for the JECL was more than 330k compounds contributed from private chemical libraries of seven members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA): Bayer Pharma, AstraZeneca, Lundbeck, Janssen, Merck KGaA, Sanofi, and UCB.

An additional 200,000 novel compounds for inclusion in the JECL are being developed by participating academic institutions and SMEs in the European Lead Factory. A consortium of 30 partners from industry and academia conducts all project workflows. HDB enables secure sharing of chemistry and biology data, and of triaged compounds that show promising characteristics for research programmes.

 

For information about the European Lead Factory contact:

Hiliana Fienieg, Head of Marketing and Communications, TI Pharma

Tel: +31 71 332 2036

Mobile: +31 6 5179 8572

E-mail: hiliana.fienieg(at)tipharma.com

 

Catherine Brett, Communication and Events Manager, IMI

Tel: +32 2 541 8214 Mobile: +32 484 896227

E-mail: catherine.brett(at)imi.europa.eu

 

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About the European Lead Factory

The European Lead Factory is a novel, open-innovation platform for drug discovery, managed by an international consortium of 30 partners and funded under the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). It has been designed to offer unrivalled opportunities to non-contractual public and private parties for the discovery of new drug lead molecules.

European academics and SMEs benefit from access to an ‘industry-like’ discovery platform that encourages active participation. The ultimate goal is to address neglected diseases including bacterial infections, psychiatric disorders and oncology.

Total project budget is around €196 million, with €80 million from the European Commission and €91 million of ‘in kind’ contributions from participating members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). A further €25 million comes from non-EFPIA participants.

High quality biology targets and chemistry scaffolds are being sought to promote cutting-edge research, with the aim of moving quickly to development of high-quality drug lead molecules on an unprecedented scale. Submitters of promising targets can also choose to partner with EFPIA companies, accessing the resources and support needed to progress all the way to drug trials.

To take advantage of this opportunity, or for further information, please continue on our website.

*Innovative Medicines Initiative, Europe's largest public-private partnership (www.imi.europa.eu)

###

 

Project executive partners communicating on behalf of the European Lead Factory:

About Bayer HealthCare

The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of around EUR 20,0 billion (2014), is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 60,700 employees (Dec 31, 2014) and is represented in more than 100 countries.

More information on Bayer HealthCare: www.healthcare.bayer.com.

 

About TI Pharma

Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma), a non-profit organization, enables groundbreaking pharmaceutical research for the development of new medicines by establishing and managing international public-private partnerships. Within an open innovation model, scientists, the business world, patient organizations and others collaborate in frontrunner, multidisciplinary research aimed at improving the development of socially valuable medicines.

More information on TI Pharma: www.tipharma.com.

 

About Taros Chemicals

Taros, an independent and privately owned contract research company based in Dortmund, Germany, has been serving the needs of pharmaceutical, chemical, agrochemical and biotech companies since 1999. More than 8.000 synthesis, research and process chemistry projects have successfully been delivered to the ever growing global customer base. Taros operates state-of-the art lab facilities and employs a team of scientists (65% of whom hold post-graduate degrees in Chemistry) who are committed to supporting the diverse needs of its customers in efficient drug discovery, medicinal chemistry and classical synthetic chemistry. Being committed to supporting our global customer base, we have developed TarosGate®. TarosGate® is a unique software suite putting cost, time and chemistry information at a Project Leader’s finger tips - 24h/7 from anywhere in the world.

More information on Taros Chemicals: www.taros.de.

 

About the Innovative Medicines Initiative

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is the world's largest public-private partnership in health. IMI is improving the environment for pharmaceutical innovation in Europe by engaging and supporting networks of industrial and academic experts in collaborative research projects. The European Union contributes €1 billion to the IMI research programme, and this is matched by in kind contributions worth at least another €1 billion from the member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). The Innovative Medicines Initiative currently supports 40 projects, many of which are already producing impressive results. The projects all address major bottlenecks in drug development, and so will accelerate the development of safer and more effective treatments for patients.

More info on IMI: www.imi.europa.eu.

 

Note: For a full list of partners, please go to www.europeanleadfactory.eu/about/partners.

Download full press release.


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Knowledge-sharing at the PostDoc Learnings and Achievements meeting

31.03.2015

Knowledge-sharing and education are key features of the European Lead Factory. Twice a year, chemistry PostDocs from within the consortium get the opportunity to present their research at the PostDoc Learnings and Achievements meeting.The first two EU Lead Factory Chemistry Meetings - PostDoc Learnings...Read more

Knowledge-sharing at the PostDoc Learnings and Achievements meeting

31.03.2015

Knowledge-sharing and education are key features of the European Lead Factory. Twice a year, chemistry PostDocs from within the consortium get the opportunity to present their research at the PostDoc Learnings and Achievements meeting.
The first two EU Lead Factory Chemistry Meetings - PostDoc Learnings and Achievements (October 2014 and March 2015) were a great success. The goal of the meetings was to give scientists from the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) participating in the EU Lead Factory chemistry consortium an opportunity to present and discuss their scientific work. The latest event saw a record attendance of 59 EU Lead Factory Chemistry Consortium members.

In total, 15 oral presentations from Edelris, Mercachem, Sygnature, Syncom and Taros researchers were evaluated by a panel of expert industrial chemists representing 6 EFPIA partners within the ELF consortium. The scope of the presentations included aspects of library design and chemistry validation, reflecting the important and growing contributions made by SMEs in the submission and validation of novel scaffolds to the EU Lead Factory – in addition to their focus on library production. Overall, more than 30 innovative scaffolds have been described by the presenters and most of the presented scaffolds are now further developed.   
The EFPIA partners reviewed the scientific content presented, and were impressed by the extraordinary work performed by the SMEs and their full commitment to the EU Lead Factory. The prize for best oral presentation, kindly sponsored by Sanofi, was awarded to Dr. Gavin Milne (Sygnature) for his work on “Heterogeneous Catalysis: A Key Tool in the Synthesis of sp3-Rich Scaffolds”.

The next EU Lead Factory Chemistry event is planned for January 2016 and will feature a mixed scientific programme from academic groups and SMEs, thus offering another fantastic occasion to learn from each other and continuing our delivery of an innovative compound collection for biological screening.


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Stefan Jaroch introduced as new Project Coordinator

26.03.2015

During the European Lead Factory General Assembly meeting held on 26-27 March 2015 in Germany/Dortmund, Stefan Jaroch was introduced as the new project coordinator. Stefan Jaroch is Head of External Innovation Technology at Bayer Pharma AG and succeeds Eckhard Ottow, who retires as Bayer’s Head Global...Read more

Stefan Jaroch introduced as new Project Coordinator

26.03.2015

During the European Lead Factory General Assembly meeting held on 26-27 March 2015 in Germany/Dortmund, Stefan Jaroch was introduced as the new project coordinator. Stefan Jaroch is Head of External Innovation Technology at Bayer Pharma AG and succeeds Eckhard Ottow, who retires as Bayer’s Head Global External Innovation & Alliances. Many thanks and our special recognition go to Eckhard for his strong efforts leading the European Lead Factory to success.


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ELF awards screening programme to CELLIPSE

18.03.2015

CELLIPSE was awarded an exclusive High Throughput Screening research program to screen the EU Lead Factory’s (ELF) joint compound library on an undisclosed innovative therapeutic target, by the Selection Committee on January 19 2015. The kick-off meeting was held in mid-February and the effort, led...Read more

ELF awards screening programme to CELLIPSE

18.03.2015

CELLIPSE was awarded an exclusive High Throughput Screening research program to screen the EU Lead Factory’s (ELF) joint compound library on an undisclosed innovative therapeutic target, by the Selection Committee on January 19 2015. The kick-off meeting was held in mid-February and the effort, led by Dr Renaud Prudent from CELLIPSE and Dr Helma Rutjes from the ELF partner Pivot Park Screening Centre, is expected to yield its first results within 9 months.

"We are delighted to be selected for the ELF screening initiative as it gives CELLIPSE the promise of high quality hits from ELF's current >350,000-compound strong chemical library to develop potential first-in-class therapies against our target. Also, these chemical assets will be highly complementary to the ones that we are currently developing in house for leukemia." stated Dr Prudent, Chief Operating Officer of CELLIPSE. "This gives us a fantastic opportunity, if we are successful, to partner with leading European pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer, Sanofi, Janssen, Merck, AstraZeneca, Lundbeck or UCB who are providing their chemical assets to the ELF initiative" added Fabrice Paublant, CELLIPSE's CEO.

About EU Lead Factory (ELF): ELF is a unique public-private partnership that promotes new discoveries via open innovation and crowdsourcing. It is designed to provide best-in-class resources and funding-in-kind, to academics or SMEs who are working on promising biology targets or chemistry scaffolds. It is financed jointly by the Innovative Medicine Initiative from FP7 EU Grants Programme and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution. To know more about EU Lead Factory, please visit www.europeanleadfactory.eu.

About CELLIPSE: CELLIPSE is a drug discovery company with its Research facilities based in Grenoble, France, dedicated to bringing innovative targeted therapies to patients and healthcare professionals. CELLIPSE is developing a pipeline of small molecules targeting the cytoskeleton (i.e. microtubules and actin filaments) based on its proprietary « cell to drug discovery » approach.

For all inquiries and further information, please contact CELLIPSE at contact<at>cellipse.com or visit www.cellipse.com.


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NTRC receives qualified hit series for TDO from the European Lead Factory

18.02.2015

NTRC, a biotech company based at Pivot Park in Oss, The Netherlands, is the first SME ever to receive a Qualified Hit List from the European Lead Factory that was generated using NTRC’s NFK GreenScreen™ assay technology. NTRC will progress the hit series alongside the previous hit series that also...Read more

NTRC receives qualified hit series for TDO from the European Lead Factory

18.02.2015

NTRC, a biotech company based at Pivot Park in Oss, The Netherlands, is the first SME ever to receive a Qualified Hit List from the European Lead Factory that was generated using NTRC’s NFK GreenScreen™ assay technology. NTRC will progress the hit series alongside the previous hit series that also were identified by screening.

Read the full announcement.


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Business Leadership Award for Professor Andrew Hopkins

12.02.2015

The European Lead Factory congratulates Professor Andrew Hopkins, of the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, for receiving the prestigious Scottish Enterprise Life Sciences Award in his role as founder and CEO of exscientia, a spin-out of the University of Dundee that is...Read more

Business Leadership Award for Professor Andrew Hopkins

12.02.2015

The European Lead Factory congratulates Professor Andrew Hopkins, of the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, for receiving the prestigious Scottish Enterprise Life Sciences Award in his role as founder and CEO of exscientia, a spin-out of the University of Dundee that is pioneering medicines tailored to polypharmacology for a wide range of human diseases where improved efficacy is required.

Read the full note


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January 2015 Newsletter now available!

26.01.2015

Topics in this issue: 1st publication on the character of the Joint European Compound Library - Crystal structures of QHL compounds with target -1st SME to receive a Qualified Hit List! -ELF Meeting: Chemistry Postdoc Learnings and Achievements -Meet the ELFs -Almost 40,000 JECL compounds synthesised -...Read more

January 2015 Newsletter now available!

26.01.2015

Topics in this issue: 1st publication on the character of the Joint European Compound Library - Crystal structures of QHL compounds with target -1st SME to receive a Qualified Hit List! -ELF Meeting: Chemistry Postdoc Learnings and Achievements -Meet the ELFs -Almost 40,000 JECL compounds synthesised - Status of JECL and Target Programmes

Read the full EU Lead Factory newsletter.


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European Lead Factory successfully creates ‘drug-like’ hit compounds

15.12.2014

Just a few months after its inclusion for drug target screening, one of the first compounds synthesised within the European Lead Factory was identified as a ‘drug-like’ hit. The compounds were synthesised by the Public Chemistry Consortium, based on library proposals from academic groups and small- and...Read more

European Lead Factory successfully creates ‘drug-like’ hit compounds

15.12.2014

Just a few months after its inclusion for drug target screening, one of the first compounds synthesised within the European Lead Factory was identified as a ‘drug-like’ hit. The compounds were synthesised by the Public Chemistry Consortium, based on library proposals from academic groups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe.

The EU Lead Factory carefully selects library proposals for novelty, drug-like properties, diversity and synthetic tractability. The hit compound was among the first compounds to be synthesised for the EU Lead Factory, and was added to the Joint European Compound Library (JECL) along with 28,000 other compounds in January 2015. In addition to the hit compound, another 130 compounds have already been identified as ‘preliminary hits’ over multiple drug-target screening programmes in only five months, highlighting the potential of compounds synthesised from library proposals.

Together with over 300,000 high-quality compounds contributed by the seven pharmaceutical companies within the European Lead Factory, the JECL currently holds around 350,000 compounds. The collection is available for screening against novel drug targets and will continue to grow.


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Congratulations!

02.12.2014

Our partner EDELRIS is celebrating 10 000 molecules prepared for the European Lead Factory project! A significant milestone has been achieved late October 2014 at Edelris, with the validation of the 10 000th molecule synthesized for the European Lead Factory project. Together with our academic...Read more

Congratulations!

02.12.2014

Our partner EDELRIS is celebrating 10 000 molecules prepared for the European Lead Factory project! A significant milestone has been achieved late October 2014 at Edelris, with the validation of the 10 000th molecule synthesized for the European Lead Factory project. Together with our academic partners, University of Leeds and Technical University of Denmark, we have set up a robust and efficient platform to steadily deliver a daily average of 50 innovative 3D-compounds. Now embarking for the next 10 000 molecules!


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The European Screening Centre now also supports target assays with Ca2+ readout

05.08.2014

The European Screening Centre now also supports target assays with Ca2+ readout. Using an integrated FLIPR Tetra fully equipped with ICCD-camera, TetraCycler and heads ranging from 96 to 1536-well format, a wide range of real-time calcium kinetics and ion channel assays can be applied. Detection methods...Read more

The European Screening Centre now also supports target assays with Ca2+ readout

05.08.2014

The European Screening Centre now also supports target assays with Ca2+ readout. Using an integrated FLIPR Tetra fully equipped with ICCD-camera, TetraCycler and heads ranging from 96 to 1536-well format, a wide range of real-time calcium kinetics and ion channel assays can be applied. Detection methods include fluorescence (for instance calcium and membrane potential dyes) as well as luminescence (for instance Aequorin). For other supported technologies and assay requirements, please read further under Screening requirements.


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Press Release: First results confirm drug discovery potential of the European Lead Factory

04.06.2014

Early confirmation of the drug-discovery potential of the European Lead Factory has emerged with delivery of the first two Qualified Hit Lists (QHLs). Launched in January 2013, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)-funded* project gives the entire European research community access to a unique,...Read more

Press Release: First results confirm drug discovery potential of the European Lead Factory

04.06.2014

Early confirmation of the drug-discovery potential of the European Lead Factory has emerged with delivery of the first two Qualified Hit Lists (QHLs).

Launched in January 2013, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)-funded* project gives the entire European research community access to a unique, high quality and extensive lead-like compound library, the Joint European Compound Library (JECL). The European Lead Factory also offers the cutting-edge infrastructure and expertise needed to screen against novel biological targets. This creates an outstanding opportunity to discover novel compounds, summarized in a so-called Qualified Hit List (QHL), for use either as pharmacological tools or as the starting points for drug discovery projects.

 

Progress has been rapid: in addition to programmes taking place within participating EFPIA members, the European Lead Factory has already accepted 26 biology target programmes from universities and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe, culminating in the current delivery of the first two QHLs. The public-private nature of the initiative is illustrated by the fact that these hit lists go to the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and to a corporate partner in the project (UCB).

 

Huib Ovaa, professor and group leader in chemical biology at NKI said that industry-standard facilities are now available for the best ideas: "Access to the European Lead Factory has fast-forwarded our drug discovery programme in the field of oncology by several years. The lead-like nature of JECL compounds and the expertise and facilities provided by the European Lead Factory mean that our results are of very high quality. This QHL goes far beyond a simple list of primary hits and I'm looking forward to further exploring the outcomes of this programme."

 

Stan van Boeckel, Chief Scientific Officer of the Pivot Park Screening Centre in Oss, the Netherlands, emphasised the benefits of collaboration: "It's very exciting to work together with researchers from all over Europe to translate their innovative targets and ideas to our ultra-high throughput screening (uHTS) facilities, and to provide them with quality hits for a flying start in drug discovery."

 

Alongside the public target programme, industrial partners are also screening their own targets against the JECL. Jeremy Davis, Director of Medicinal Chemistry at UCB, said that this early hit list shows how important the European Lead Factory will be over the next few years: "For a highly challenging target we had taken the hits generated in-house as far as they could go. Access to the JECL has provided us with a list of highly interesting hit compounds and a second chance to develop lead molecules."

 

Targets submitted to and accepted by the European Lead Factory are screened against the JECL, which contains over 300,000 compounds from the previously inaccessible proprietary collections of seven major pharmaceutical companies. As part of the project, the JECL will be expanded until it contains up to 500,000 compounds, via crowdsourcing of chemical library ideas. From January 2014, a web portal has enabled the submission of both biology targets and external compound library proposals to the European Lead Factory. Chemical library proposals benefit from fixed monetary rewards if they lead to the addition of more than 50 compounds to the JECL. At the time of writing, 214 chemistry proposals have been submitted by public chemistry partners, and 52 libraries have been successfully validated, resulting in more than 12,000 compounds synthesized and ready for screening.

 

Biological target programme owners receive QHLs of up to 50 compounds that show activity against their target and also fulfil additional (de)selection criteria as set out collaboratively in the screening programme.

 

The UCB and NKI programmes will now progress to follow-up work, designed ultimately to generate drug candidates. UCB will conduct research in-house, while NKI will be using the facilities provided by the European Lead Factory that are able to deliver an Improved Hit List (IHL). Phil Jones, Director of the European Screening Centre, Newhouse, said that these facilities, together with the opportunity to collaborate on developing an IHL, are very valuable to public target contributors: "Working closely with the programme owners, we offer extensive support potentially including biophysical, biostructural and in vitro DMPK experiments to further characterise the hit compounds and establish structure-activity relationships. Using the QHL as a starting point, we will apply our medicinal chemistry expertise to identify important functional groups and explore how changes to those groups can provide the programme owner with compounds showing the best activity levels."

 

The European Lead Factory aims to accept and execute another 100 public programmes over the next four years. "By combining the innovation of academia, the agility of SMEs and the experience of pharma, the European Lead Factory is a true public-private partnership aiming to change the game of drug discovery in Europe," said Michel Goldman, Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative.

 

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The European Lead Factory is a novel, open-innovation platform for drug discovery, managed by an international consortium of 30 partners and funded under the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). It has been designed to offer unrivalled opportunities to non-contractual public and private parties for the discovery of new drug lead molecules.

 

European academics and SMEs benefit from access to an 'industry-like' discovery platform that encourages active participation. The ultimate goal is to address neglected diseases including bacterial infections, psychiatric disorders and oncology.

 

Total project budget is around €196 million, with €80 million from the European Commission and €91 million of 'in kind' contributions from participating members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). A further €25 million comes from non-EFPIA participants.

 

High quality biology targets and chemistry scaffolds are being sought to promote cutting-edge research, with the aim of moving quickly to development of high-quality drug lead molecules on an unprecedented scale. Submitters of promising targets can also choose to partner with EFPIA companies, accessing the resources and support needed to progress all the way to drug trials.

 

To take advantage of this opportunity, or for further information, see the website at www.europeanleadfactory.eu.

 

*Innovative Medicines Initiative, Europe's largest public-private partnership (www.imi.europa.eu)

 

 

Press contacts

 

Hiliana Fienieg, Head of Marketing and Communications, TI Pharma

Tel: +31 71 332 2036

Mobile: +31 6 5179 8572

E-mail: hiliana.fienieg(at)tipharma.com

 

Catherine Brett, Communication and Events Manager, IMI

Tel: +32 2 541 8214 Mobile: +32 484 896227

E-mail: catherine.brett(at)imi.europa.eu

 

Stephanie Bush, Account Manager, EMG

Tel: +31 164 317 036

Mobile: +31 657 778 253

E-mail: sbush(at)emg-pr.com

 

 

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Project executive partners communicating on behalf of the European Lead Factory:

 

About Bayer HealthCare

 

The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of €17.2 billion (2011), is one of the world's leading innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide.

 

Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 55,700 employees (Dec 31, 2011) and is represented in more than 100 countries.

 

More information on Bayer HealthCare: www.healthcare.bayer.com.

 

 

About TI Pharma

 

Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma), a non-profit organization, enables groundbreaking pharmaceutical research for the development of new medicines by establishing and managing international public-private partnerships. Within an open innovation model, scientists, the business world, patient organizations and others collaborate in frontrunner, multidisciplinary research aimed at improving the development of socially valuable medicines.

 

More information on TI Pharma: www.tipharma.com.

 

 

About Taros Chemicals

 

Taros Chemicals, an independent and privately owned contract research company based in Dortmund, Germany, has been serving the needs of biotech, pharmaceutical and chemical companies since 1999. More than 6,000 research and process chemistry projects have been successfully delivered to a global customer base. Taros Chemicals runs state-of-the art lab facilities and employs a team of graduates (50% of whom hold PhD degrees in Chemistry) who are committed to supporting the diverse needs of its customers in efficient drug discovery and medicinal chemistry. Being committed to supporting customers in efficient drug discovery and medicinal chemistry initiatives, Taros developed the software suite "Taros Gate". Taros Gate is unique software that puts cost, time and chemistry information at a Project Leader's fingertips - 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

 

More information on Taros Chemicals: www.taros.de.

 

Note: For a full list of partners, please go to www.europeanleadfactory.eu.

 

 

About the Innovative Medicines Initiative

 

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is the world's largest public-private partnership in health. IMI is improving the environment for pharmaceutical innovation in Europe by engaging and supporting networks of industrial and academic experts in collaborative research projects. The European Union contributes €1 billion to the IMI research programme, and this is matched by in kind contributions worth at least another €1 billion from the member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). The Innovative Medicines Initiative currently supports 40 projects, many of which are already producing impressive results. The projects all address major bottlenecks in drug development, and so will accelerate the development of safer and more effective treatments for patients.

 

More info on IMI: www.imi.europa.eu.

 

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Submit your chemical scaffold

03.02.2014

Now open for online submissions: From today on, the ELF is happy to receive your novel scaffold ideas for evaluation. Create your proposals, either by defining a scaffold and possible combinations of R-groups or by uploading a file  (most likely, an SD file) that defines the whole compound. You...Read more

Submit your chemical scaffold

03.02.2014

Now open for online submissions:

From today on, the ELF is happy to receive your novel scaffold ideas for evaluation.

Create your proposals, either by defining a scaffold and possible combinations of R-groups or by uploading a file  (most likely, an SD file) that defines the whole compound. You will receive some valuable feedback that allows you to decide whether to submit your proposal, or whether it needs further refinement
 

Submit your proposal


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Nature calls the European Lead Factory a “formidable factory”

16.12.2013

Nature magazine ranked the European Lead Factory among the bright spots in science around the globe in its review of 2013's most important developments in biomedical research. It generated headlines when its creation was announced on February 7th by the Innovative Medicines Initiative. See what else...Read more

Nature calls the European Lead Factory a “formidable factory”

16.12.2013

Nature magazine ranked the European Lead Factory among the bright spots in science around the globe in its review of 2013's most important developments in biomedical research.

It generated headlines when its creation was announced on February 7th by the Innovative Medicines Initiative.

See what else made news that year and download the whole article (118 kB):


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European Lead Factory open for proposals

16.12.2013

The European Lead Factory project is now accepting proposals for target programmes from project partners as well as external academics and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The project’s biology target programme is open to submissions for all disease areas, including oncology, cardiovascular,...Read more

European Lead Factory open for proposals

16.12.2013

The European Lead Factory project is now accepting proposals for target programmes from project partners as well as external academics and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The project’s biology target programme is open to submissions for all disease areas, including oncology, cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS), respiratory, and neglected diseases. Target screening programmes should be novel, of high quality, and ready for high throughput screening (HTS).

More details of how to apply, as well as information on the intellectual property policy of the European Lead Factory, can be found here.


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Open innovation, transparent rewards

25.10.2013

Find out how 30 partners have established world-class facilities, under the European Innovative Medicines Initiative. Explore the world-class facilities   Read more

Open innovation, transparent rewards

25.10.2013

Find out how 30 partners have established world-class facilities, under the European Innovative Medicines Initiative.

Explore the world-class facilities 

 


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Launch of the European Lead Factory - Press release

07.02.2013

€196 million pan-European drug discovery platform launchedLarge pharmaceutical companies join forces with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and academia in an IMI-supported public private partnership (PPP) to enhance early drug discovery and so address the ever-increasing need for innovative...Read more

Launch of the European Lead Factory - Press release

07.02.2013

€196 million pan-European drug discovery platform launched
Large pharmaceutical companies join forces with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and academia in an IMI-supported public private partnership (PPP) to enhance early drug discovery and so address the ever-increasing need for innovative therapeutics to tackle unmet medical needs

Brussels, Belgium & Leiden, the Netherlands, 7 February 2013

The European Lead Factory, a novel platform for innovative drug discovery, was launched today by an international consortium of 30 partners. This partnership, the first of its kind, is supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and creates unprecedented opportunities for the discovery of new medicines by providing public partners with an ‘industry-like’ discovery platform to translate cutting-edge academic research into high-quality drug lead molecules on a scale and speed that was not possible previously.

This will be made possible in part through access to an exceptional collection of small molecules. Part of this collection will be contributed by pharmaceutical companies, and the other part will be a newly synthesized compound collection built by the SMEs and academic institutions using the integrated knowledge of all consortium partners and through open innovation and crowd sourcing. Screening of this compound collection will be performed within the pharmaceutical companies and by a newly-established European Screening Centre. Stakeholders, including patient organisations and global health initiatives, are invited to contribute their knowledge and networks to the consortium to elevate the outcome of the early drug discovery process and to be part of the establishment of a new sustainable platform for early drug discovery.

Pharmaceutical companies have vast libraries of compounds which can be screened in the hunt for potential medicines. Usually, access to these compound libraries is highly restricted. As part of the European Lead Factory, the 7 participating pharmaceutical companies will contribute at least 300 000 chemical compounds from their corporate chemical collections. A library of an estimated additional 200 000 novel compounds will be developed jointly by academia and SMEs. Together, the two libraries will form a Joint European Compound Collection consisting of up to half a million compounds that will be accessible to all project partners and to public organisations offering promising new targets for drug discovery screening. These target proposals will be selected through competitive calls.

An equally important part of the European Lead Factory is the European Screening Centre, which will assist public contributors of novel targets in the development of tests amenable to the requirements of industrialised screening methodology. Both the sites in Scotland and the Netherlands will run state of the art facilities for compound logistics and high throughput screening to respectively handle the 500 000-strong compound library and to evaluate new compounds that are active against the novel targets. 

The total budget for the project amounts to around €196 million. Of this, €80 million comes from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), and €91 million is provided as in kind contributions from the participating companies that are members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). The remaining €25 million comes from other contributions from the non-EFPIA participants.

If the project proves successful during its initial five year funding period, the European Screening Centre and the teams of SMEs and academic institutions aim for a sustainable role in drug discovery and the future growth of drug development in Europe.

IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman commented: ‘IMI is very excited by the launch of the European Lead Factory. This unique project is an excellent example of how a public-private partnership can transform the way in which the pharmaceutical sector identifies new medicines. For the first time, it will give European researchers unprecedented access to industry chemical collections and facilitate the translation of their findings into actual treatments for patients. This project will not only advance the chances of success in the discovery of new medicines by European researchers, but also add value by building research capacity in Europe.’

Hanno Wild, Senior Vice President and Head of Candidate Generation & Exploration at Project Coordinator Bayer HealthCare Global Drug Discovery, says: ‘The European Lead Factory is an outstanding example of a project in which public-private partnerships enable collaborative drug discovery. The platform brings together academia and industry as well as small and medium enterprises in a unique partnership aiming to discover innovative medicines. Bayer is committed to further develop this novel platform by providing decades of experience in drug development. The joint efforts of the consortium will support drug discovery and hopefully generate new therapies for patients.’

The Netherlands-based non-profit TI Pharma will facilitate the governance of this new project and is responsible for the scientific management of the screening centre. Scientific Director of TI Pharma and Head of Screening of the European Lead Factory Ton Rijnders: ‘Establishing this public private partnership brings unprecedented opportunities to develop a sustainable ground breaking drug discovery platform based on superior input and output by connecting top notch science, decades of experience in drug discovery and development and the agility of SMEs.’

Dimitrios Tzalis, CEO of Taros Chemicals and Head of the European consortium’s chemistry effort, affirms: ‘The experience of creating an unparalleled drug discovery platform consisting of leading European SMEs and academia has been very exciting and compelling, to say the least. This platform of knowledge and experience, based on novel chemistry and innovative targets will be fortified by the pharmaceutical industry’s expansive knowledge in drug development, resulting in a giant surge forward in drug development.’

Notes to Editors

The research leading to these results has received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° 115489, resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution.’

More information: http://www.imi.europa.eu/content/european-lead-factory

Project partners

EFPIA companies

Bayer Pharma AG, Germany

AstraZeneca AB, Sweden

H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, a Pharmaceutical Company of Johnson & Johnson, Belgium

Merck KGaA, Germany

Sanofi, Germany

UCB Pharma SA, Belgium

 

Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups

Foundation Top Institute Pharma (Stichting Top Instituut Pharma), the Netherlands

Leiden University, the Netherlands

Max Planck Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften E.V., Germany

Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Stichting Het Nederlands Kanker Instituut, the Netherlands

Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany

University of Dundee, UK

University of Groningen, the Netherlands

University of Leeds, UK

University of Nottingham, UK

University of Oxford, UK

VU-University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

 

SMEs

BioCity Scotland Ltd, UK

ChemAxon, Hungary

Edelris S.A.S, France

GABO:mi Gesellschaft fur Ablauforganisation:Milliarium Mbh & Co Kg, Germany

Lead Discovery Center GmbH, Germany

Mercachem B.V., the Netherlands

Pivot Park Screening Centre B.V, the Netherlands

Sygnature Discovery Limited, UK

Syncom, the Netherlands

Taros Chemicals GmbH & Co KG, Germany

 

Press contacts

Catherine Brett, Communication and Events Manager, IMI
Tel: +32 2 541 8214 - Mobile: +32 484 896227
E-mail: catherine.brett(at)imi.europa.eu

Elianne Hoving, Head of Marketing and Communications, TI Pharma
Tel: +31 71 332 2036 - Mobile: +31 6 5179 8572
E-mail: elianne.hoving(at)tipharma.com

 

About the Innovative Medicines Initiative

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is the world’s largest public-private partnership in health. IMI is improving the environment for pharmaceutical innovation in Europe by engaging and supporting networks of industrial and academic experts in collaborative research projects. The European Union contributes €1 billion to the IMI research programme, and this is matched by in kind contributions worth at least another €1 billion from the member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). The Innovative Medicines Initiative currently supports 40 projects, many of which are already producing impressive results. The projects all address major bottlenecks in drug development, and so will accelerate the development of safer and more effective treatments for patients.

More info on IMI: www.imi.europa.eu

 

About Bayer HealthCare

The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of €17.2 billion (2011), is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 55,700 employees (Dec 31, 2011) and is represented in more than 100 countries.

More information on Bayer HealthCare: www.healthcare.bayer.com

 

About TI Pharma

Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma), a non-profit organization, enables groundbreaking pharmaceutical research for the development of new medicines by establishing and managing international public-private partnerships. Within an open innovation model, scientists, the business world, patient organizations and others collaborate in frontrunner, multidisciplinary research aimed at improving the development of socially valuable medicines.

More information on TI Pharma: www.tipharma.com

About Taros Chemicals

Taros Chemicals, an independent and privately owned contract research company based in Dortmund, Germany, has been serving the needs of biotech, pharmaceutical and chemical companies since 1999. More than 6.000 synthesis, research and process chemistry projects have successfully been delivered to the ever since growing global customer base. Taros Chemicals runs state-of-the art lab facilities and employs a team of graduates (50% of whom hold post-graduate degrees in Chemistry) who are committed to supporting the diverse needs of its customers in efficient drug discovery and medicinal chemistry,. Being committed to supporting our customers in efficient drug discovery and medicinal chemistry initiatives, we have developed Taros Gate. Taros Gate is a unique software suite putting cost, time and chemistry information at a Project Leader’s finger tips - 24h/7 from anywhere in the world.

More information on Taros Chemicals: www.taros.de

 


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