Clinical collaboration is clearly a good idea

31 Oct 2011

The 16th biennial SCI/RSC Medicinal Chemistry Symposium recently took place at Churchill College Cambridge, from 11-14 September 2011.

In the region of 300 delegates, from more than 25 countries, were treated to three days of the latest developments and thinking in medicinal chemistry.

The theme of this year's meeting was 'The Path forward: Collaboration or Competition?' and, in keeping with that theme, many of the lectures highlighted the fruits of ongoing collaborative ventures.

There were clear examples of cutting-edge academic researchers reaching out to Big Pharma for help with development and commercialisation of their ideas, and of Big Pharma making tools available for the furtherance of academic research, and reaching out to academics and biotechs seeking early-stage partnerships around novel chemistries and chemical diversity.

More than 25 lectures covered topics in enzyme targets, ion channel/receptor targets and late-breaking topics, in addition to lectures focussed on the specific meeting theme. Many presented important first disclosures of clinical development candidates, or revealed significant new clinical data. In addition to the lectures, there were more than fifty posters on an even wider diversity of topics, many of them prepared and presented by younger representatives of their respective organisations.

Another important function of the meeting was the presentation of the biennial Malcolm Campbell Award, which this time went to the team from Liverpool University: Paul O'Neill, Kevin Park and Stephen Ward, for their work on anti-malarial drug discovery and the chemical biology of Plasmodium falciparum. Finally, delegates were challenged by the well-known Chemistry World column writer and blog author Derek Lowe, to think about 'what next?' for the industry.

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