Brussels/Leiden/Dortmund, 12 February 2013 -- The European Lead Factory, a novel platform for innovative drug discovery, was launched early February by an international consortium of 30 partners including the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC). LDC is an expert in the discovery and generation of small molecule lead series by translating basic research results in close collaboration with the academic partners into developable and commercially relevant assets and pharmaceutical application. As part of its fully integrated drug discovery, LDC has cutting-edge expertise in medicinal chemistry including computational chemistry. Within the European Lead Factory the LDC will take part in the design of the novel public compound library by applying its industry-standard cheminformatics, design and medicinal chemistry know-how.
Pharmaceutical companies have vast libraries of compounds which can be screened in the hunt for potential medicines. To date, access to these compound libraries was highly restricted. As part of the European Lead Factory, the 7 participating pharmaceutical companies will contribute at least 300 000 chemical compounds from their corporate chemical collections. A library of an estimated additional 200 000 novel compounds will be developed jointly by academia and SMEs. Together, the two libraries will form a Joint European Compound Collection consisting of up to half a million compounds that will be accessible to all project partners and to public organisations offering promising new targets for drug discovery screening. These target proposals will be selected through competitive calls.
An equally important part of the European Lead Factory is the European Screening Centre, which will assist public contributors of novel targets in the development of tests amenable to the requirements of industrialised screening methodology. Both the sites in Scotland and the Netherlands will run state of the art facilities for compound logistics and high throughput screening to respectively handle the 500 000-strong compound library and to evaluate new compounds that are active against the novel targets.Â
The total budget for the project amounts to around â‚¬196 million. Of this, â‚¬80 million comes from the European Commissionâ€™s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), and â‚¬91 million is provided as in kind contributions from the participating companies that are members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). The remaining â‚¬25 million comes from other contributions from the non-EFPIA participants.
IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman commented: â€˜IMI is very excited by the launch of the European Lead Factory. This unique project is an excellent example of how a public-private partnership can transform the way in which the pharmaceutical sector identifies new medicines. For the first time, it will give European researchers unprecedented access to industry chemical collections and facilitate the translation of their findings into actual treatments for patients. This project will not only advance the chances of success in the discovery of new medicines by European researchers, but also add value by building research capacity in Europe.â€™
â€˜The European Lead Factory is an unprecedented innovative model in early drug discovery combining strengths of academia and industry. It is exciting for us to participate in this seminal public private partnership and to contribute our expertise to the success of this ambitious project. â€™ says Peter Nussbaumer, Managing Director of the LDC.
Bayer HealthCare will be the coordinator from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) for this IMI project. The Netherlands based non-profit organization TI Pharma will facilitate the overall scientific governance of this new project and is heading the European Consortiumâ€™s Screening efforts. Taros Chemicals is heading the European consortiumâ€™s chemistry effort.
About the Innovative Medicines Initiative
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is the worldâ€™s largest public-private partnership in health. IMI is improving the environment for pharmaceutical innovation in Europe by engaging and supporting networks of industrial and academic experts in collaborative research projects. The European Union contributes â‚¬1 billion to the IMI research programme, and this is matched by in kind contributions worth at least another â‚¬1 billion from the member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). The Innovative Medicines Initiative currently supports 40 projects, many of which are already producing impressive results. The projects all address major bottlenecks in drug development, and so will accelerate the development of safer and more effective treatments for patients.
More info on IMI: www.imi.europa.eu
About the Lead Discovery Center
The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max-Planck-Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. With a world-class team of interdisciplinary scientists, drug discovery experts, pharmacologists and seasoned project managers, the LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from academia and industry, the LDC is building a strong and further growing portfolio of small molecule leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. More info on LDC: www.lead-discovery.de
The research leading to these results has received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement nÂ° 115489, resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companiesâ€™ in kind contribution.â€™
More information: http://www.imi.europa.eu/content/european-lead-factory
Bayer Pharma AG, Germany
AstraZeneca AB, Sweden
H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark
Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, a Pharmaceutical Company of Johnson & Johnson, Belgium
Merck KGaA, Germany
UCB Pharma SA, Belgium
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
Foundation Top Institute Pharma (Stichting Top Instituut Pharma), the Netherlands
Leiden University, the Netherlands
Max Planck Gesellschaft zur FÃ¶rderung der Wissenschaften E.V., Germany
Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Stichting Het Nederlands Kanker Instituut, the Netherlands
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
UniversitÃ€t Duisburg-Essen, Germany
University of Dundee, UK
University of Groningen, the Netherlands
University of Leeds, UK
University of Nottingham, UK
University of Oxford, UK
VU-University Amsterdam, the Netherlands
BioCity Scotland Ltd, UK
Edelris S.A.S, France
Gabo:Mi Gesellschaft fur Ablauforganisation:Milliarium Mbh & Co Kg, Germany
Lead Discovery Center GmbH, Germany
Mercachem B.V., the Netherlands
Pivot Park Screening Centre B.V, the Netherlands
Sygnature Discovery Limited, UK
Syncom, the Netherlands
Taros Chemicals GmbH & Co KG, Germany
Catherine Brett, Communication and Events Manager, IMI
Tel: +32 2 541 8214 - Mobile: +32 484 896227
Elianne Hoving, Head of Marketing and Communications, TI Pharma
Tel: +31 71 332 2036 - Mobile: +31 6 5179 8572