IMI launches €196m project
08.02.2013 - The EU’s IMI has launched a novel platform for drug screening. It is aimed at screening 500,000 compounds to find new lead structures.
Under the umbrella of the European Lead Factory, an international consortium of 30 partners led by German Bayer Pharma AG and Taros Chemicals GmbH & Co KG will screen 300,000 compounds provided by seven pharma companies: Bayer, AstraZeneca AB, H. Lundbeck A/S, and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Merck KGaA, Sanofi, and UCB Pharma SA. Additionally, the academic and SMEs will synthesise a library of 200,000 completely novel compounds. The pharma companies will screen this new chemical space.
Additionally, the academic and SME partners will screen the compound library with their own assays generating new IP within a newly established European Screening Centre. The EU will fund the project with €80m. The Joint European Compound Collection will be accessible to all project partners and to public organisations offering promising new targets for drug discovery screening.
„The seven EFPIA partners will, for the first time, open their compound libraries for public researchers“, Taros’ CEO Dr Dimitrios Tzalis told EuroBiotechNews. „This open access approach is a novelty and may lead to significant progress in the field of drug development.“ Hanno Wild, Senior VP and Head of Candidate Generation & Exploration at Project Coordinator Bayer HealthCare Global Drug Discovery, says: ‘The European Lead Factory is an outstanding example of a project in which public-private partnerships enable collaborative drug discovery.“ The Innovative Medicines Initiave is a industry-driven Public Private Partnership between the European Commission and the EU pharma association EFPIA that aims to boost productivity of drug development.