Drug Discovery 2022: Driving The Next Life Science Revolution
WELCOME TO DRUG DISCOVERY 2022 ELRIG’s annual Drug Discovery meeting which remains Europe’s largest meeting for life sciences industry professionals. During this conference, ELRIG will celebrate its long history of hosting disruptive and innovative drug discovery technology developments, whilst exploring the next life science revolutions.
Since the pandemic, Drug Discovery and scientific achievements have reached into people’s lives in ways not seen before. This has driven support for diverse and collaborative thinking to make unprecedented scientific progress. The ELRIG community are now facing an exciting prospect to help drive this renaissance in life sciences.
Drug Discovery 2022 promises to provide a platform for the whole drug discovery community to meet at a free to attend, in-person event. ELRIG has partnered with; BPS, SLAS, and RSC to draw together an exciting and progressive 2-day event containing; cutting-edge advancements in screening, automation and high content imaging, and innovations in disease models, advances in cell and gene therapies, revolutions through partnerships, future perspectives in medicinal and green chemistry and finally creative thinking to deliver therapies to one of the most challenging diseases facing society; COPD.
ELRIG committee invites you to attend this exciting meeting, and contribute to this revolution through, submission of (poster Abstracts) and round-table discussions throughout the 2-days – We look forward to your contribution!
- Overcoming Challenges and New Directions in Medicinal Chemistry Even relatively recently, many key proteins and processes in human disease have been considered “undruggable”. However, recent advances against targets such as the RNA spliceosome and KRAS G12C have started to re-define the concept of druggability and how we can deliver forefront medicines across a range of diseases. In this session, we will celebrate some of the recent advances in this space, describing the impact of synthetic and medicinal chemistry in delivering agents against challenging diseases. Importantly, the talks will share key lessons learnt, to assist future success against equally challenging targets and our panel of experienced medicinal chemists will discuss their own experiences, future directions and upcoming challenges
- High Content Imaging in Drug Discovery High content imaging (HCI) is now a familiar and in many cases, a routine approach for investigating and analysing the multiparametric events occurring within cells and is used as a standard tool in many academic and Pharma environments. HCI is increasingly being deployed in more technologically challenging environments such as organoid and 3D model systems as well as drawing on machine learning & AI advances to drive drug discovery efforts. With this session we assess the current standing of HCI in drug discovery by taking a snapshot of current and near-future activities in this arena; has the early promise of HCI been fully realised? Do we get the most benefit from our hard won HCI data? Is there such a thing as too much data? Is there an emerging consensus as to the best way to deploy HCI in DD
- Cell & Gene Therapy Often grouped together, these two complementary disciplines of therapy have not only delivered clinical impact through the efforts of academics and biotechs, they have also become pillars of many pharmaceutical companies medicine pipelines. With approaches as diverse as in vivo expressed biologics, CRISPR-based therapeutic gene editing and allogeneic immune cell engineering, it is easy to overlook the commonalities between this wide range of medicine formats. This session will provide an update on advances in this increasingly mainstream area of drug discovery, as well as shine a light on some of the shared challenges academics, clinicians and industry scientists are working together to overcome”.
- Drug Discovery and Development in COPD (BPS) COPD remains a major medical challenge resulting from smoking and increasingly due to oxidant airborne pollutants. COPD is suggested to become the third leading cause of deaths globally by 2030 and currently affects approximately 17.4 million people. Furthermore, there is now a growing recognition that COPD is a syndrome with both changes in the respiratory system and systemic co-morbidities, particularly in the cardiovascular systems, and even depression. Current therapy is largely administered by inhalation to treat the respiratory symptoms, with drugs mainly developed not to enter the systemic circulation to avoid unwanted effects. However, in the future we need to consider systemic treatments to also address these important co-morbidities. This track will review the current “state of play” of our understanding of the pathogenesis of COPD and the current limitations of current treatment approaches. The track will discuss assays to identify novel molecular targets to help find new drugs for the treatment of COPD and the “Therapeutic Innovation” currently in the pipeline.
- Innovation through partnership The landmark collaboration between Oxford University and AstraZeneca for the further development, large-scale manufacture and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate has demonstrated, globally, the power of partnership to deliver on medicines and to solve challenging unmet needs. ELRIG have created this session to celebrate the thriving Bioscience network of research and commercial partnerships and to highlight and discuss approaches for funding your ideas.
- Frontiers of Chemistry applied to Drug Discovery (The RSC) Sustainability, innovation, new modalities, synthetic methodology, target validation; what impact do all of these have on drug discovery and how can we use the most recent advances to improve the medicines we make? In this track we will hear about recent advances in sustainable chemistry, new synthetic methodology and its impact on drug discovery. We explore the interface between chemistry and biology, and how we are pushing the boundaries of drug discovery today. This session is hosted by the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) and RSC Medicinal Chemistry. The BMCS is a member-driven interest group of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) which aims to further the interests of all members of the RSC, both industrial and academic, involved in the pursuit and understanding of biologically active molecules. A journal published on a not-for-profit basis by the RSC, RSC Medicinal Chemistry publishes significant research and new thinking in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery science.
- Developments in Preclinical Models Driven by increased disease insight as well as a renaissance in screening approaches such as Functional Genomics, understanding biology, as well as the behaviour of emerging drug targets and candidate medicines within a complex cellular environment is critical to modern research. Academics and industry scientists are increasingly turning to advanced preclinical models in order to identify and validate new biological hypotheses, as well as mitigate the risks of clinical efficacy- and safety-based attrition for new medicines. This session will highlight some of the most exciting preclinical model systems at the forefront of this wave of innovation”.
- Advancements in Screening and Automation (SLAS) In the ELRIG-SLAS joint session novel approaches to laboratory automation and screening will be shared. What does a lab of the future look like and how to get there? The speakers will give us an insight into their ideas, solutions, new technologies and share their experience. Making screening tools and automation more universal and easy to implement is and will be an important topic in the years to come
ECP Impact Award 2022
We are delighted to announce the winner of the ECP Impact Award at Drug Discovery 2022
|Shaun Pennington is an immunologist/microbiologist working in drug discovery at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. His interests lie in translational research and the development and application of advanced in vitro models of infection for pre-clinical drug discovery. Through collaboration with the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON), Dr Pennington provides industrial partners, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with access to the experimental platforms that he has developed. This model for access provides SMEs with essential data, without the requirement for investment in biological containment level 3 infrastructure.
SLAS Innovation AveNEW
Innovation AveNEW is a program designed for start-up or emerging companies in the life sciences and technologies space. Companies selected for Innovation AveNEW are given the opportunity to elevate the promotion of their new company, product or service. This specially designated area of the exhibition will connect you to purchasing influencers and decision-makers from around the world — at no cost. Innovation AveNEW companies pay no fees and are rewarded with access to a global audience, business consulting.
We are delighted to announce the winners of the Innovation AveNEW.
- Inventia Life Science
- Navigate Precision Biology
- Salve Therapeutics
Join the science revolution at Drug Discovery 2022
Access the most exciting research and find the latest technologies that could propel your projects forward
At ELRIG, our purpose is to serve you, the drug discovery community. And that’s why, when you tell us that you find it difficult to keep up with the latest research and technological developments across the industry, from cell and gene therapy advancements to medicinal chemistry innovations, we listen.
With increasingly diverse and collaborative thinking leading to unprecedented scientific progress, we are truly on the cusp of a renaissance in the life sciences – and we want to help you be part of it. Drug Discovery 2022 provides a platform for the whole drug discovery community to meet at a free to attend in-person event, at the ExCel in London from 4-5th October. Join us to learn from world-leading experts, foster collaborations and explore the latest advancements in areas spanning screening, automation, high content imaging, disease models and cell and gene therapies.
But don’t just take our word for it, read on to get an exclusive sneak peek from keynote speakers, Molly Stevens, Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine at Imperial College London, and Rab Prinjha, VP Head of Immunology Research Unit at GlaxoSmithKline on what insights they’ll be sharing and what they see as the drivers of the drug discovery revolution.
The children of the (life science) revolution
It’s an incredibly exciting time in the life sciences – with a focus on collaboration across disciplines the sky is the limit and the opportunities to create diagnostic tools and therapeutics that could benefit society as a whole are innumerable. But what do our esteemed colleagues make of the revolution?
What do you see as being the driver for the renaissance in the life sciences?
RP: In many ways, the pandemic has catalysed the renaissance by reminding scientists of our potential impact and purpose. This is clearly true in the study of viruses and vaccines, but also in immunology and physiology of medicines more broadly.
MS: For me, it is technological advancements that are allowing us to approach research in ways that weren’t possible before. We are seeing game-changing developments in connected and personalised medicine that harness the power of artificial intelligence for drug design, multidimensional health data analysis and disease prediction, which will enable us to make the healthcare of the future a reality. I hope to see a combined, collaborative effort to ensure that this renaissance truly benefits society across the geographical and economic divide.
Molly and Rab, as our keynote speakers, what insights can attendees expect to gain through attending your presentations, and how does it speak to the life science revolution?
MS: My presentation, which takes place on October 4th, focuses on how our in-house technology – SPARTA® – is enabling us to analyse single nanoparticles in a high-throughput, non-destructive, label-free manner. SPARTA® decodes the physicochemical composition of individual particles in real-time allowing us to monitor and quality control nanoparticle synthesis processes in ways impossible to achieve using traditional bulk characterisation methods. By using this tool, we are developing a portfolio of nanomedicines designed to interact with the biological environment to deliver a targeted biocargo.
What I find most exciting is how versatile our nanomaterials portfolio and SPARTA platforms are. In fact, the great value of the versatility was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic when we redesigned our ultrasensitive biosensing lateral-flow tests, previously validated for Ebola and HIV, and developed new virustatic nanomimics proven to block viral entry. I hope our work will inspire a translational framework for future innovation in nanomedicine and help further fuel the revolution!
RP: My presentation is on the second day of the event – October 5th. I will be speaking about how we are systematically applying genomic sciences at scale across our portfolio to help overcome one of the greatest challenges we see in immunology and drug discovery – identifying the best target for medicines. The growth in the scale of the data, technology and ambition in this area is inspiring, and I hope to be able to inspire other scientists too. With target identification a stumbling block for many therapeutic areas, I hope that some visibility of the enhancements in speed and quality, together with a vision for how this can be meaningfully integrated, will encourage researchers to join us or others now starting to embark on this journey.
Supporting the future of drug discovery to aid the revolution
Early Career Professionals (ECPs) are the future of drug discovery. Not only will they become the next generation of key opinion leaders and renowned experts, but they also bring new perspectives to the industry that could help foster breakthroughs. If you’re an ECP, make the most of Drug Discovery 2022 by taking part in career development workshops; from panel discussions on founding a biotech start-up to ‘Network like a Boss’ where you’ll be able to start to build a network, helping you open new doors. And rest assured, the ‘Bosses’ who take part are all very supportive and happy to offer you career advice and guidance, just like Molly and Rab, who were both keen to provide their top tips:
What is one piece of practical advice you would give to an early career professional?
RP: That’s a tricky question to answer! I don’t think I can just stick to one. I’d say to listen well, learn fast, make good friends in science and trust your instincts! To help make good friends in science make the most of opportunities when they present themselves, be passionate about your work and curious of that of others. Being able to connect with peers and build a network is truly invaluable so I’d urge you to attend in-person events, like Drug Discovery when you can.
MS: In a scientific career it is fundamental to find a topic that you feel passionate about – it then becomes almost a natural response to commit all your effort and enjoy the process. Remember that setbacks will happen but take them as an opportunity to learn! It is also important to have the support of good mentors and to build a collegiate team that share core values. I am extremely thankful for the amazingly talented and generous people that have supported me and worked alongside me throughout my career.
Drug Discovery 2022: Your event of 2022
Each year, we relish hearing your feedback so we can continue to tailor our events for you. And we heard you when you said you’d like an even broader scientific programme. To bring you more world-class science than ever before, we have partnered with the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS). The jam-packed programme covers:
- Cutting-edge advancements in screening and automation
- High content imaging
- Innovations in disease models
- Advances in cell and gene therapies
- Revolutions through partnerships
- Future perspectives in medicinal and green chemistry
- Creative thinking to deliver therapies to COPD
But Drug Discovery isn’t an event to simply attend – it’s something to be part of. Join in and contribute by submitting a poster, participate in a round-table discussion or take part in workshops such as the Hackathon of Lab Instrument Interoperability. Some of these activities have limited spaces, so register for Drug Discovery now and indicate which you’d like to participate in to secure your place!
Molly and Rab are as excited for the event as we are:
What is most exciting to you about this year’s Drug Discovery event?
MS: I think the symbiosis of academic research and industry-driven innovation is an incredibly exciting aspect of the event. We will have the opportunity to learn from different perspectives and feed new ideas into our own creative workflow. In my research group, we take a very interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach to science and benefit massively from the connections and knowledge transfer we gain from attending events like Drug Discovery.
RP: The value of face-to-face events shouldn’t be underestimated. After the pandemic, it is still particularly exciting to see live talks and have great conversations with other speakers and attendees. By attending in person events, you can interact and engage with people from across the industry in a way that isn’t possible via virtual means.
Don’t miss out: Register for Drug Discovery 2022 now
To learn from and meet individuals like Molly and Rab and discover break-through technologies that could propel your research forward, register for Drug Discovery 2022 now. There’s a reason why over 2,000 experts come together at Europe’s biggest life science event, and we’d hate for you to miss out.
If you’re still not convinced, then watch this space for our next blog, where you’ll hear directly from our conference directors, Katie Chapman (Discovery Biology Director, VC Funded Biotech Company), Simon Chell (Executive Director, Discovery Biology, AstraZeneca), Jon Hutchinson (Scientific Leader, GlaxoSmithKline), and Simon Ward (Director of the Medicinces Institute, Cardiff University).
Our future depends on healthy people, a healthy society and a healthy planet. Research laboratories have a large environmental impact, with high levels of resource consumption and waste generation. Across academia and industry, we are all committed to continuously striving to identify and adopt sustainable solutions that transform our ways of working to deliver our research.
As part of our AstraZeneca Open Innovation programme launched two sustainability focused challenges at ELRIG Drug Discovery 2022:
Challenge #1: Novel technologies to enable filter tip reuse or recycling in R&D
Challenge #2: Novel solutions to enable organic solvent recycling from R&D processes
We would like to invite innovators at any career stage, across academia and industry, and in any discipline that may have a novel solution to our sustainability challenges to submit their ideas.
The finalists will be invited to present their innovative solution at a ‘pitch event’ at the ELRIG Research & Innovation meeting on 29-30 March 2023 in Cambridge, UK. The winning solution selected for each challenge at the ELRIG R&I final event will receive an award and a potential opportunity to further develop their solution.
Visit our Open Innovation website for further information on our challenges.
We have several sponsorship opportunities available to our vendors that can provide a wide range of new and exciting benefits for your organisation. We are also happy to discuss a tailored package to suit your budget. Contact us on email@example.com
ALL OUR EVENT INFORMATION IN
THE PALM OF YOUR HAND
If you plan to attend an ELRIG event download the free ELRIG app and access all our conference information and lecture schedules and more straight from your phone or pad..