Drug Discovery 2023: Diverse thinking – New Perspectives

An ELRIG Conference

18-19 October

ACC Liverpool Exhibition Centre

Day 1

  • Celullar Technologies for Drug Discovery:

    Cellular technologies encompass a wide range of critical tools used throughout the drug discovery process. Continued drive from industry and academia to strive for increasingly complex cellular microenvironments to better mimic in vivo conditions has led to rapid advancement in the use of 3D cell culture models, stem cells and functional genomics techniques to supplement more traditional recombinant cellular-based approaches. This session highlights innovative approaches taken by researchers using cellular technologies as a powerful tool to understand disease mechanism, identify novel targets and asses potential drug candidates. Session Chairs: Charlotte Beaver (Wellcome Sanger Institute) & Sapna Desai (GSK)


  • Transforming Cancer Drug Discovery through diverse thinking and innovation:

    The oncology therapeutic landscape has been transformed in recent years through the advent of immunotherapy, which has in turn catalysed investment into new and diverse drug discovery approaches. These range from innovative target discovery through bioinformatic analysis of clinical datasets through to significant advances in medicinal chemistry that have brought previously “undruggable” targets into focus. Creative and flexible partnerships with the biotech and pharma industries are also playing a critical role in progressing novel medicines into the clinical setting. This session will showcase cutting edge insights into these exciting areas. Session Chair: Stuart Farrow (CRUK).


  • Delving into the diversity of chemistry, driving molecules from concept to clinic:

    Chemistry makes a pivotal and essential contribution to the delivery of a diverse range of novel human therapeutics and modalities.  These diverse contributions are underpinned by a wider diversity, from the range of specialisms engaged, the scope of methodologies employed, and the skills, experiences and backgrounds of the practitioners involved. This session aims to celebrate some aspects of that diversity, showcasing forefront science from across the chemical community. Session Chairs: Allan Jordan (Sygnature Discovery) & Beth Thomas (Storm Therapeutics)


  • Augmenting R&D with AI

    Advances in technology means that we generate much more data about biological systems and the complexities of disease as we search for new medicines. It is becoming increasingly clear that not only do we need teams and communities of expert scientists, but enhanced data analytic tools to support those scientists in extracting knowledge from data that can be used guide research. This track will explore how AI can be used to augment the R&D process and address challenges in target discovery, drug design and product development. Session Chairs: Lee Larcombe (APEXOMIC) & Charlotte Dean (University of Oxford)

Day 2

  • Biopharmaceutical discovery:

    Over the years, as more and more biologics are approved (over 150 at the last count), the global market for this class of medicines is expected to be over 200 billion USD. This impact has largely been driven by recent advances in the power of antibody engineering allowing significant improvements in the efficacy and utility of biopharma molecules. In this track, we will provide an overview of the complex and exciting world of biopharmaceutical drug discovery and survey the current state of the art of selection processes, screening and developability. Session Chairs: Francisca Wollerton (AZ), Ed Coulstock (GSK)


  • Translating ideas into therapies:

    The global need for effective medicines is increasing, whilst the biology underlying new drug concepts is becoming increasingly complex, so this session will outline some of the most exciting technology advancements and approaches that have led to new therapeutics to the clinic. The speakers will discuss what made the crucial difference but also the challenges they faced along the way. This will include successes in; AI, bifunctionals, microbiome, repurposing, gene editing and more…. Session Chairs: Hitesh Sanganee (AstraZeneca & Nicky Cooper (River BioMedics)


  • HIT identification and screening:

    The identification of high quality, well validated hit compounds is a crucial step in in giving a drug discovery project the best change of producing a successful medicine. The design of screening campaigns and the technologies selected are important factors in the success of these hit identification activities and are the focus of this session. In this track you will hear about different techniques that can be applied to identify biologically active hit molecules and on recent innovations in this area. The presented methods will range from fragment based and DNA-encoded libraries to high throughput screening approaches. Session Chairs: Carien Dekker (Novartis) & Magda Otrocka (Ardigen)


  • Chemistry enabling drug discovery from start to clinic:

    Throughout the drug discovery process, chemistry is essential in identifying potential drug candidates, optimizing their properties, and developing effective and safe molecules to treat diseases. In this track we will hear about the impact of chemistry across all stages of drug development, from the importance of building a suitable screening deck, to the impact of synthetic methodology across the process.  We explore the interface between chemistry and biology and the impact of computational chemistry. 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. Session Chairs: Becky Garton (RSC), A. Ganesan (University of East Anglia), Mary Wheldon (University of Dundee), Martin Swarbrick (Ryvu Therapeutics) & Andy Merritt (LifeArc)


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 info@elrig.org

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