Network, collaborate, and learn the latest in therapeutic oligos and chemical biology

Network, collaborate, and learn the latest in therapeutic oligos and chemical biology


A plethora of novel therapeutic modalities and research approaches are propelling drug discovery forward, offering promising ways to better understand and treat some of the most challenging diseases.

But unlocking the full potential of these innovations demands deep collaboration, strong partnerships, and new levels of knowledge sharing.

And that’s precisely why we created the ELRIG Therapeutic OLIGOs and European Chemical Biology Symposium (ECBS) 2023 conference.

In this blog, you’ll discover all about this insight-packed event, from the world-leading institutions collaborating to make it possible, to the unrivalled opportunities for in-person networking and accelerating your career. If we were you, we’d get this one in the calendar early!

Therapeutic oligos and chemical biology: fuelling tomorrow’s medicines

The free event will combine ELRIG’s inaugural meeting on Therapeutic OLIGOs with the 8th European Chemical Biology Symposium (ECBS) and will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden from May 9–11. Over the two days, we’ll bring together academia, industry, and the vendor community to discuss recent advancements in two ultra-exciting areas of drug discovery and biological research: therapeutic oligonucleotides and chemical biology.

Therapeutic oligos, such as ASOs, siRNAs, and other mRNA-targeted therapeutics, have emerged as an exciting modality with the potential to address a variety of previously untreatable conditions. At the same time, the chemical biology field is unveiling new ways to interrogate and understand biology, aiding deeper disease understanding and revolutionizing drug discovery.

“These fields are moving at remarkable speed and have huge potential to transform treatments. But it can be tricky for many in the scientific community to keep pace,” said Sanj Kumar, CEO, ELRIG. “That’s why we’re bringing these complimentary areas together for the very first time, helping attendees embed themselves in the space and deeply understand the current state of play.”

Unprecedented collaboration between world-leading institutions

And the event will be a feat of remarkable collaboration, too. ELRIG will be partnering with EU-OPENSCREEN, Europe’s open-access infrastructure for chemical biology research; the Division of Chemistry in Life Sciences of the European Chemical Society; and AstraZeneca, who will be hosting the event in their Gothenburg R&D building.

“Combining multiple strands of exciting science in a single location for unrestricted knowledge-sharing is what this is all about,” said Dr Thomas Lundbäck, Senior Director, Mechanistic and Structural Biology, Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca. “We’re all deeply committed to open access science, and firmly believe the symbiosis of academia and industry — across a smörgasbord of therapeutic areas and tools — is how we can catapult drug discovery forward. We’re delighted to offer up our facilities to make this event possible.”

“Freely accessible, high-quality science is critical for innovation,” added Dr Katja Herzog, Senior Project and Grant Manager, EU-OPENSCREEN. “This event is an opportunity to build awareness around two transformative fields, and foster greater interplay between them. We want to bring all of our powerful open-access screening infrastructure and deep chemical biology knowledge to the table for a broader audience, ultimately to enable exciting therapeutic breakthroughs. The symposium provides a unique opportunity to do that.”

Your fast-track to understanding the latest in therapeutic oligo and chemical biology science

To help you leap to the forefront of therapeutic oligo and chemical biology knowledge, we’ve put together an unparalleled mix of talks exploring the current opportunities and challenges across these disciplines.

From a therapeutic oligo perspective, you’ll hear from sector-shaping companies and institutions, such as Roche, Ionis Therapeutics, and Oxford University, covering the latest in

  • therapeutic oligo profiling
  • advancements in oligo design and synthesis
  • novel formulations and biomarker analysis

“The sheer knowledge that every speaker brings to the table is overwhelming — from BreakThrough Prize winner and therapeutic oligo pioneer C. Frank Bennet, to the vastly experienced Marie Vikström Lindholm of Silence Therapeutics,” noted Dr Lundbäck.

And the chemical biology-focused talks are no different. Speakers from key academic and chemical biology research groups in Europe will delve into the latest science across three pertinent tracks:

  • Chemical probe-induced protein interaction and degradation
  • New ways to shape and interrogate biology through chemistry
  • Innovative tools and methods for advanced cell profiling

But what excites Drs Lundbäck and Herzog about the programme?

“Right now, targeted protein degradation is a critical focus topic across both industry and academia. And the technologies we use there also applies to therapeutic oligonucleotides and chemical biology. Discussing this topic from these two perspectives is therefore a particularly exciting aspect of the event,” commented Dr Lundbäck.

“There’s just so much to be excited about. Four of the chemical biology presentations are tightly linked to click chemistry and bio-orthogonal chemistry, the development of which secured the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. All the techniques being discussed have profound consequences for future therapies, so the talks will be immensely valuable,” said Dr Herzog.

“I’m really looking forward to the keynote presentation from Shantanu Singh, who leads the Imaging Platform at the Broad Institute. He’s doing pioneering work in advanced cell profiling, which has the potential to revolutionize the way we find targets and therapies for disease. Dr Moreira, President of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology is also leading an EU-OPENSCREEN partner site and has a fascinating talk lined up on developing chemical tools to study mechanisms of infectious diseases, Honestly, though, I don’t intend to miss any of the amazing talks that are planned.” Dr Herzog added.

And the knowledge sharing doesn’t stop there.

Conference attendees will also have the chance to embark on AstraZeneca’s Amazing Journey tour, where they will explore the company’s R&D facilities, discover its rich history, and get to visit some of its laboratories.

Network, share your work, kickstart your career — all free of charge

And in true ELRIG style, there’ll be myriad opportunities to build your network, foster new partnerships, and boost your career, too.

With the event being in-person, attendees can engage face-to-face with the mentor-minded experts, speakers, and solution providers that fill the oligo and chemical biology space.

“Many EU-OPENSCREEN laboratory representatives are set to be onsite, so there’s a huge level of expertise that people will be able to tap into,” noted Dr Herzog. “That’s what’s great about such events. You could connect to that one key person, find that one critical detail, that can help your research flourish.”

Dr Lundbäck added, “Anyone interested in doing chemical biology research or accessing EU-OPENSCREEN’s infrastructure should not miss the opportunity to get to the site.”

You’ll also have the chance to share your latest research in the form of a scientific poster, giving you additional exposure and helping kickstart conversations that could lead to fruitful future collaborations.  And who knows? Maybe you’ll be selected for a European Chemical Biology Symposium flash presentation to present your work.

But that’s not all. Because we know how hard it can be for early career professionals (ECPs) to break into the sector, we’ve put together a dedicated session for this valuable part of our community. Several industry veterans will present their career journey, offering advice on how best to carve a path to career success. With an open Q&A session afterwards, you can get your burning questions answered, or secure that critical piece of transformative advice.

What are you waiting for?

Therapeutic oligonucleotides and chemical biology are revolutionizing healthcare and drug discovery. And what better way to learn all about them than at the heart of a bustling, insight-packed, free event with an unrivalled speaker agenda?

Don’t miss your chance to get to the forefront of knowledge, make critical connections, and boost your career: register for the ELRIG Therapeutic Oligos and European Chemical Biology Symposium (ECBS) 2023 conference today!