A symposium to be hosted by the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute (BSi) on Oct. 18 at the Baltimore Convention Center will bring together the pharmaceutical industry and academic-based research institutions with the common goal of exploring how the two can best work together to enhance and facilitate the discovery of new drugs.
Although pharmaceutical companies and new university-based drug discovery centers have increasingly begun teaming up to pool resources and expertise, the book on best practices for this evolving area is still being written, says Barbara Slusher, head of the BSi Drug Discovery Program and associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. "While one-one-one partnerships between universities and the pharmaceutical industry have become more common in recent years, there is less opportunity for these groups to come together and share knowledge and best practices on a broader scale."
That's what prompted the BSi to organize their symposium, called Drug Discovery in Academia. The event will be a rare opportunity for more than 500 academic researchers, pharmaceutical industry representatives and investors to discuss the challenges and successes of drug discovery today.
The keynote speech, "Academic Translational Centers: A New Paradigm for Early Stage Drug Discovery," will be delivered by Steven Paul, director of the Appel Alzheimer's Disease Research Institute and professor of neurology and psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Paul brings perspective from both sides of the changing drug discovery landscape as former vice president of science and technology and president of Lilly Research Labs. Other academic presenters will include drug discovery center heads from the University of California San Francisco, the Centre for Drug Research and Development, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Vanderbilt University.
From an industry perspective, Merck, Eisai, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are slated to make presentations. Drug discovery center funders such as the National Institutes of Health, Maryland Biotechnology Center, New Enterprise Associates, Cure Huntington Disease Initiative and Osage University Partners will also speak at the event.
A panel discussion will round out the day, followed by networking opportunities to connect funding agencies, industry personnel and researchers who share common areas of interest.
The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute is a multidisciplinary research enterprise that fosters rapid translation of neuroscientific discoveries to treatments of brain diseases, in part by partnering with industry and biotechnology. Visit brainscienceinstitute.org to learn more.