ELRIG’s Drug Discovery 2017 meeting will soon kick off (3rd and 4th October) in Liverpool, UK, bringing together the drug discovery community to discuss the latest innovations, many of which have not yet been published and are hot off the press (register for your free place now).

Having already previewed Day One, here we explore what Day Two’s session chairs have in store. There’s another exciting agenda on the cards covering three further session tracks: Innovations in Chemistry, Target Identification and Validation, and From Molecule to Man: Right Dose, First Time. If you’d like to know exactly what topics these sessions cover, read on for first-hand insights into which world-class speakers will be presenting, what latest discoveries and technologies will be discussed, and how these findings can advance your research.

ACC, Liverpool

What are the latest innovations in chemistry?

If you’re keen to learn more about the latest innovations in chemistry, then this session is the place to be. You will get the lowdown on novel molecular methodologies in medicinal chemistry, and find out how they may be close to driving forward an exciting paradigm shift in the field.

Featuring a range of top-quality talks from thought-leaders in both academia and industry, the presentations will focus on some of the major recent advances in molecular methodologies, such as flow chemistry and artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery.

Experts working at the forefront of this pioneering research will give various presentations, such as “The Convergence of Artificial Intelligence and Chemistry for Drug Discovery” by Dr Clive Green, Executive Director, Sample Management of AstraZeneca, and “The Application of Flow Chemistry for Target Synthesis” by Professor Ian Baxendale of Durham University.

The session chairs, Professor Chris Schofield of the University of Oxford and Dr Matt Tozer, Head of Medicinal Chemistry of Cyclofluidic will also be encouraging wider discussions around these ground-breaking advances. “As well as highlighting cutting-edge research in these fields, our objective is to promote discussion on how these methodological advances can best be applied to the efficient discovery of new medicines,” says Professor Schofield.

Advances in target identification and validation

A parallel session track on Day Two will provide insights into the latest research on target identification and validation, from the perspectives of both industrial and academic experts. The session chairs, Dr Darren Cawkill, Project Director of Apollo Therapeutics and Dr Louise Jones, Head of Translational Research of the Medical Research Council, will use their wealth of expertise to lead you through the session track.

“Attending this session will enhance your understanding of the important considerations involved when identifying a specific molecular target/pathway as a potential therapeutic mechanism to modulate and alter human disease. This is the first and fundamentally critical step to translating basic science into successful drug discovery,“ says Dr Cawkill.

You will hear from a variety of world-class speakers, including keynote speaker Professor Steve Wedge of Newcastle University, who will offer his expert views on innovative research into stratified cancer therapies.

Other eminent speakers will present their latest research across diverse topics, such as new strategies that aim to bridge biological research with industrial therapeutic applications, and the discovery of novel validated targets to treat antimicrobial resistance and Alzheimer’s disease.

And, you will get a rare chance to hear about the latest cutting-edge technologies that are driving forward our ability to uncover the molecular mechanisms of disease to improve our understanding of drug targets. For example, Dr Klio Maratou, Investigator at GlaxoSmithKline will present her research on the use of CRISPR genome editing in studying targets and pathways in cellular systems.

The session chairs are also excited about delving into translational target validation. “The presentations will focus on both current opinion and technological breakthroughs that are enabling translationally-focussed target validation, for example in addressing the need for human disease relevant in vitro and in vivo models and fully exploiting our knowledge of human genetics,” says Dr Cawkill.

For example, Dr Jeff Barrett, Director of Open Targets, will present a talk on “Using Human Genetics to Make New Medicines,” and Dr Michael Stubbington, leader of the team working on the Human Cell Atlas at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, will talk about this high-resolution map of human cells and its thrilling potential as a springboard for future drug discovery.

From Molecule to Man: Right Dose, First Time – how can you benefit?

Day Two’s third parallel session will reveal cutting-edge advances in First-In-Human (FIH) Trials, which are enabling improved translatability of drug therapies from the laboratory to the patient.

The session chairs, Professor Piet Van der Graaf of Leiden University and Dr Pinky Dua, Senior Director, Head of Clinical Pharmacology, Rare Disease Research Unit at Pfizer, have planned a session that will explore the challenges in FIH trials and highlight the recent innovations allowing us to overcome them.

“It’s really exciting to be able to unravel how a molecule behaves in humans, but it does come with many challenges,” says Dr Dua. “The safety and well-being of the subjects must always be the priority.”

As such, in this session you can expect to learn about what challenges must be overcome when testing potential new medicines in humans for the first time, helping you to envision how best to translate your research.

“In this session, speakers from leading academic and pharmaceutical institutions will talk about the state-of-the-art methodologies that enable improved translatability of drug therapies from the laboratory to the patient,” says Professor Van der Graaf.

Keynote speaker Professor Meindert Danhof of Leiden University will explain how mechanism-based pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics (PKPD) are helping to progress translational drug research, and Dr Dua will highlight how the newest technology is helping FIH trials to adapt to a changing regulatory landscape.

Further top-quality talks will reveal other vital factors to consider in FIH trials, such as choosing the relevant biomarkers, understanding the disease mechanisms, and ensuring confidence in the translation of research from non-clinical data to the clinic.

“Predicting the right dose of a drug, at the right time, to the right patient population, is still a key challenge in FIH trials,” adds Dr Dua.

For example, you can hear how physiologically-based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) can bridge the gap between in vitro discovery and in vivo human studies (Professor Amin Rostami-Hochaghan of the University of Manchester) and benefit from a tutorial on how you can predict the correct first dosage in FIH trials using the latest modelling and simulation techniques (Dr Neil Benson, Head of Quantitative Systems, Pharmacology Operations at Certara).

So, if you don’t want to miss out on all the latest and greatest findings you’ll gather at Drug Discovery 2017, register to attend now!

Register free for Drug Discovery 2017