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Drug Development Collaborative Workshop – Forming Drug Discovery Partnerships

keynote address

Drug Development Collaborative Workshop – Forming Drug Discovery Partnerships

CTSI and its partnering institutions collaborated with Concordia University School of Pharmacy to sponsor the Drug Development Collaborative Workshop- Forming Drug Discovery Partnerships. Over 110 participants from 20 different organizations attended the workshop on May 31st in the Alumni Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Reza Shaker, MD, CTSI Director

Reza Shaker, MD, CTSI Director

The morning began with a welcome from Reza Shaker, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Science and CTSI Director. Dr. Shaker provided an overview of CTSI specifically mentioning the Pilot Award Program which has seen a steady increase in funding totals since 2009. The 2012 Pilot Awards bring together disciplines like medicine, biomedical informatics, rehabilitation, psychology, economics, biomedical engineering, genetics, chemistry, business, etc. Dr. Shaker urged participants to think about our strengths in collaborating and the needs for drug repurposing and discovery in preparation for NIH Funding Opportunities such as “Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules Initiative”. This new NIH/NCATS Pilot Program is partially  designed to develop partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and the biomedical research community to advance therapeutic development.

The keynote address, Drug Repositioning: Forging Academic-Industry Partnerships was presented by Michael Barratt, PhD., Program Coordinator on an international team of scientists that investigating novel ways to diagnose, treat and prevent malnutrition in infants and children at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Barratt is also co-editor and contributing author for the first book on Drug Repositioning, Drug Repositioning – Bringing New Life to Shelved Assets and Existing Drugs.  In his presentation Dr. Barratt discussed why drugs are failing; drug repositioning; how the pharmaceutical industry is approaching repositioning; the Next Generation Industry-Academic Partnerships; and lessons learned. He also discussed the NCATS NIH Industry Pilot Program: Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules.

A plenary session presentation

Francis Peterson, PhD presented on Structure-Based Drug Discovery.

Plenary sessions presented by experts from various institutions maintained a broad discussion/research focus to maximize the collaborative potential of each topic:

  1. Structure-Based Drug Discovery by Francis Peterson, PhD, Department of Biochemistry, Medical College of Wisconsin
  2. Preclinical Disease Models by John Imig, PhD, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin
  3. Medicinal Chemistry and Lead Optimization: Subtype Selective GABA Ligands as Potential Therapeutic Agents by James Cook, PhD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  4. High-Throughput Screening Assay Development by Alexander “Leggy” Arnold, PhD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  5. Drug Rescuing and Repurposing: Teaching old drugs new tricks by Behnam Ghasemzadeh, PhD, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Marquette University
  6. Structure-based Drug Design: Technologies and Applications by Daniel Sem, PhD, Concordia University Wisconsin, School of Pharmacy
  7. Novel Drug Formulations by Abhay Chauhan, PhD, Concordia University Wisconsin, School of Pharmacy
  8. Clinical Trials by James Thomas, MD, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center
  9. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Biotech Targets Based on Greatest Unmet Clinical Needs by Elizabeth Jacobs, MD, MBA, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin
Facilitating a breakout session

Doug Stafford, PhD and James Cook, PhD facilitated a breakout session.

In addition to the keynote address and plenary sessions the workshop was moderated by William Campbell, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin. Joseph Kerschner, MD, Dean and Executive Vice President of the Medical College of Wisconsin presented some brief remarks about the Drug Discovery initiative. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Rachel Schiffman, PhD, RN, FAAN of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and CTSI Co-Director. Dr. Schiffman spoke about the resources that CTSI provides for investigators and how these resources can benefit their research careers. The remainder of the afternoon was filled with breakout sessions where participants had in-depth discussions on a variety of topics such as Developing Novel Small Molecules for Specific Targets; High-throughput Screening; Discovery to Clinic; Pre-Clinical IND Filing; Structure-based, Computer-assisted Screening; and Drug Development Organization.

Participants in a breakout session.

Participants engaged in discussion during one of the breakout sessions.

The workshop concluded with a brief report back after which participants enjoyed a Post-Workshop Network Reception provided courtesy of BioForward.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


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