European Lead Factory will screen for new drugs
Brussels – The EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) will establish the European Lead Factory, an EU-wide public-private partnership aiming to facilitate drug discovery efforts. The Lead Factory will comprise a high-throughput screening centre and a substance library with approx 500,000 drug candidates. This will, according to IMI, create “an unprecedented effort to speed up the discovery of new medicines”. The implementation of the centre is the sole goal of the IMI’s 5th Call for Proposals 2012, which has just been announced by the public-private partnership. Participating pharmaceutical companies will provide 300,000 compounds and universities and small- and medium-sized enterprises are expected to contribute another 200,000 compounds. The project has a budget of €169m, with up to €80 million coming from the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme for Research and the rest from in-kind contributions by member companies of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Overall, the European Lead Factory will “provide to public partners an ‘industry-like’ discovery platform to translate cutting-edge academic research into high-quality candidate drug molecules on a scale and speed that was not possible previously”, IMI said.