University drug development // Drug Repurposing

University drug development

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Historically, universities created compound libraries through the generosity of pharmaceutical companies. In return for gifting compound libraries, pharma companies would receive modest tax breaks and academic goodwill. However, the reality is that most of those libraries were gifted for a reason - either having little strategic value for the pharma company, or they were already picked over (scaffold fatigue). Universities also found that it was challenging to use the libraries (not your typical post-grad skill set) and often cost $10, 000+ to run large-scale screens. This is turn caused university screening cores to run smaller, more directed screens, which limited their ability to find attractive leads.

New Models

According to a recent article, there are 78 small molecule–focused drug discovery centers at universities or nonprofit research organizations in the US. The report discussed some interesting stats:

  • 2/3 of the drug discovery centers have high throughput screening infrastructure
  • 2/3 have hit-to-lead medicinal chemistry expertise
  • 1/2 have in vivo efficacy capabilities

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by Phroid

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