The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the programme details for Drug Discovery 2021, which will take place at the Exhibition Centre ACC in Liverpool, UK, from 19–20 October. The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), a US-based organisation dedicated to advancing life sciences discovery, technology and collaboration, will host its popular Innovation AveNEW to showcase emerging innovations and companies. The free-to-attend, in-person event, aims to provide a platform to re-connect, re-invent, and re-imagine drug discovery with experts from industry, academia and global pharmaceutical organisations.

ELRIG UK’s Drug Discovery returns as a face-to-face meeting place with a mission to engage quality discussions on key issues and future directions in preclinical drug discovery. The event expects to attract over 1000 delegates, with exhibitions from 100 vendors, and will implement actions to ensure a COVID-safe environment for attendees, such as COVID passports and a coloured lanyard system to show preferred levels of social distancing.

This year will celebrate the continuing success of the scientific community and provide several networking opportunities over the two-day event, to drive collaborations between academic and biopharma industry thought-leaders, as well as early career professionals. The programme includes insightful sessions on new approaches in infection biology diseases, advances in biomarkers and diagnostics, approaches to drugging RNA, innovative screening and strategies to enhance drug discovery, disruptive technologies, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as well as leading research from the British Pharmacological Society.

This year’s event is also host to SLAS’s Innovation AveNEW, which is designed to promote start-ups and emerging companies by awarding free-of-charge exhibition space, travel and hotel accommodations and access to a network of potential business partners, life science researchers, and purchasing decision-makers. To further elevate the new product, service, or company, selected companies have the opportunity to record an episode of the SLAS New Matter podcast and receive on-demand access to an SLAS entrepreneurial workshop. The top ranked applicant will receive an additional opportunity to participate in the SLAS Conference & Exhibition in Boston (5–9 February 2022) or in Dublin (24–27 May 2022).

“This last year has seen unprecedented scientific progress, and ELRIG UK is committed to ensuring that our events provide highly relevant networking opportunities and content to support this continued success. ELRIG Drug Discovery is widely recognised as Europe’s largest meeting place on the application of drug discovery, and we are proud to partner with SLAS, an organisation at the industry forefront, to promote the most exciting emerging products, services and companies in Europe.” Sanj Kumar, General Manager, ELRIG UK

Vicki Loise, CEO of SLAS, said: “The companies selected for our Innovation AveNEW are given the opportunity to raise awareness of their new company, product or service to a global audience. At SLAS, we are very pleased to partner with ELRIG UK, and we are confident that the inclusion of our Innovation AveNEW in this year’s Drug Discovery programme will complement its mission to provide freely accessibly scientific content, promotion and networking opportunities.”