Better Hits = Better therapeutics?
Tuesday 6 October 2020
Session Chairs: Thomas Lundbäck (AstraZeneca) & Steve Young (Sygnature Discovery)
Despite recent progress most candidate drugs still fail to demonstrate sufficient efficacy and safety in clinical phase 2 studies. This poses the question as to how we can improve on preclinical study routines to improve on clinical success rates. Such improvements are needed throughout the discovery pipeline, from the choice of clinically relevant target proteins, identification of quality Hits and their further progression through testing in relevant and translatable model systems of disease. In this session we pose the question of what can be done at the Hit identification stage to reduce attrition rates in preclinical and clinical research.
We do this by looking at a range of different approaches from the choice of the most relevant Chemical Matter to facilitate development, early application of new technologies such as Cell Painting to allow multiplexed readouts of safety and efficacy at scale, to introduction of Patient-Near Cells already at the stage of HTS. Questions and discussions will focus on when these technological and methodologies advances will help reduce Clinical Attrition Rates.
Innovations in Chemistry to discover new medicines
Wednesday 7 October 2020
Session Chairs: Andy Merritt (LifeArc) & David Andrews (AstraZeneca)
A continuous stream of innovations in medicinal and synthetic chemistry as well as screening paradigms is being applied to novel drug discovery. But how successful have some been and do these lead to consensus? In this track we will look at some of the more recent developments in lead discovery and present differing views of which strategies are paying off. Topics will include targeted screening sets or big diversity? Fragments – 3D or not 3D? How are kinetic target guided and click chemistry approaches impacting? Successes from each approach will be presented – so come and judge for yourselves.
GPCRs in drug discovery hosted by the British Pharmacological Society
Thursday 8 October 2020
Session Chairs: Sarah Nickolls (GlaxoSmithKline) & David Kendall (Pharmnovo)
Approximately a third of the drugs on the market target GPCRs. However, the percentage of this gene family which have been investigated as drug targets is under a third, leaving a large number of potential drug targets to be explored. In this symposium we look at some of these unexploited GPCRs, including orphan receptors for which no endogenous ligand has been identified. We also will discuss more well known receptors and some novel technologies for probing GPCR pharmacology.
Addressing the challenges of Infection – how do we develop new treatments?
Friday 9 October 2020
Session Chairs: Fiona Marston (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) & Mike Dawson (MRC)
In this year of COVID-19, the importance of having effective therapies for infectious diseases is self-evident. As well as the viral infection itself, secondary bacterial and fungal infections raise enormous issues, and antimicrobial resistance amplifies these challenges.
In this session, as well as discussing how the drug development community can respond rapidly to emerging infections, we will consider the broader global challenges in infection research and how anti-infective drug discovery presents different issues to other therapeutic areas. The application of new technology to anti-infective drug discovery, such as artificial intelligence and the role of alternative drug modalities to conventional antibiotics, will be presented. Finally, the opportunity to optimise therapy through the application of PK-PD principles along with personalised dosing will be considered.
Patient relevant models for drug discovery
Tuesday 13 October 2020
Session Chairs: Jane Kendrew (Sygnature Discovery) & Antti Nurmi (Charles River Laboratories)
Patient relevant model systems for drug development -session is to present research about use and experiences in using conventional and alternative model systems beyond traditional drug development, extending from non-mammalian in vivo systems to mammalian and human derived cell based assays in support of pharmacology. Session topics range from use of mammalian and non-mammalian models for oncology drug development to muscular dystrophy research as well as use of human iPSC for CNS research. Session is designed with particular emphasis in understanding translational features and properties of data obtained from using different approaches in drug development as well as the potential value of using alternative approaches in modern drug development.
Multi Omic approaches to deliver new medicines
Wednesday 14 October 2020
Session Chairs: Gerard Drewes (GlaxoSmithKline) & Delphine Rolando (Benevolent AI)
Omic data is becoming a key element of drug discovery. Multi-omic modality integration is one of the big challenges to allow the efficient use of this data. In this session, we will cover a number of multi-omic based approaches that enable drug discovery, from endotyping and hypothesis generation to hypothesis validation. These approaches include combinations of genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic data, making use of systems biology and machine learning methods. We will also explore precision medicine through the use of multi-omic data in combination with clinical and phenotypic data, allowing for endotype-specific target identification.
Novel approaches in oncology drug discovery, hosted by Cancer Research UK
Thursday 15 October 2020
Session Chairs: Mark Charles (Cancer Research UK)
CRUK is a leading funder of cancer research in the UK, supporting a broad portfolio of discovery research that aims to build our fundamental understanding of the biological processes underpinning cancer development and progression. To ensure this world-leading science is rapidly and effectively translated into new treatments for patients, CRUK also supports expert groups and networks involved in drug discovery and development, from target validation through hit finding, lead optimisation and into clinical development, with a focus on a differentiated approach to progressing high risk but potentially high gain projects. In this track you will hear about a number of drug discovery projects supported by CRUK, both small molecule and antibody based, that take innovative and novel approaches to challenging targets and disease areas, built on leading scientific insight and with the potential to have a substantial impact on cancer therapy.
New Modalities to treat disease
Friday 16 October 2020
Session Chairs: Mark Creighton-Gutteridge (GlaxoSmithKline) & David Blakey (MiNA Therapeutics)
The vast majority of therapeutic drug registrations over the last 10 years have been for two main modalities; small molecules and monoclonal antibodies. However, continuous advances in our scientific understanding combined with leaps forward in technology have led to novel modalities advancing to the clinic. New modalities, covered in this session, include oligonucleotide and peptide based therapeutics as well as cell and gene therapies, all of which have made significant progress in recent years. Approvals of oligonucleotides in CNS and liver disease plus a doubling of cell based therapies and CD3-bispecifics in the immune-oncology space bear testament to these advances. This session will discuss how these novel modalities have made the transition from concept to the clinic and the challenges that still remain.