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Biologics Drug Discovery - Driving Strategic Improvements With Scientific Informatics

Adoption of a scientific informatics system is essential to the success of every drug discovery organisation. This episode discusses how we can drive strategic improvements in biologics drug discovery using scientific informatics. Good decisions can accelerate innovation and success, whereas poor decisions can hamstring a company for many years to come. Here, we discuss many of the key factors to be considered when making such a decision, drawing from lessons learned from small molecule...


Full Length Isoform Sequencing (Iso-Seq) Yields a More Comprehensive View of Gene Activity

RNA-seq has revolutionised how scientists can interrogate gene expression. But after years of performing RNA-seq studies with short-read sequencers, many have realised that there is more to be discovered. Comprehensive transcriptome analysis – an essential tool for characterising disease, studying cell lines and measuring drug response – requires a more thorough approach. New studies have demonstrated that longread sequencing, which spans full-length isoforms without the need to reassemble...


I Robot. I, The Future - Robotics Within and Beyond The Lab

The Pistoia Alliance (whose membership includes most of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies, technology vendors and publishers active in the life science R&D sector), is keenly interested in discovering the ways in which innovation through pre-competitive collaboration can be used to explore and exploit the constant stream of new technologies that become available. Recent interest in areas such as the Internet of Things, smart glasses and machine learning have all led to initial...


Oral Peptide Therapeutics - A Holy Grail or Quixotic Quest?

Technologies have been honed to overcome many of the challenges of administering peptide therapeutics orally, but obstacles remain before drug developers can fully realise the vast potential. Proteins and peptides are the building blocks of life and have evolved to become a very promising basis for targeting a range of diseases. Over the past 30 years, and especially the last 10 years, there has been a rapid growth in the development of therapeutic proteins, with a dramatic increase in the...


How High-Throughput CRISPR is set to Deliver Knockout Performance in Drug Discovery

CRISPR-Cas9 has rapidly transformed our ability to perform targeted gene editing. While the technique has received much interest for its potential in the field of gene therapy, advances in its high-throughput use mean it can now open up a wealth of opportunities in drug discovery too. CRISPR-Cas9, short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, and CRISPR-associated protein-9, has quickly established itself as an important tool for precision gene editing. This powerful...


Breaking Down Silos In Drug Development - Why Interdisciplinary Integration Is Fundamental For Pharma's Future

A silo mentality is an issue for any organisation, but it is particularly problematic for the pharmaceutical industry. Drug development is a multidisciplinary endeavour that relies on the cumulative efforts of highly skilled teams in order to be successful. Yet these teams cannot work in isolation. Few development challenges reside within their own ‘bubble’; without careful planning and good communication, the solutions adopted to overcome one obstacle can have a significant knock-on effect...


Practicalities Of Conducting Replication Studies In Preclinical Cancer Biology

The first results for the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology offer insights into the time and cost of conducting replication studies in preclinical cancer biology. While many agree that developing a therapeutic should not be pursued unless grounded in reproducible preclinical results, the costs of replication have, to date, not been considered when such studies are funded. With this first estimate of the resources required, the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology lays the...


The Kinetics of Drug Receptor Binding (Bonus Webinar Episode)

Optimizing the receptor binding kinetics of new drugs can have significant benefits, ranging from improved duration of action to enhanced efficacy through the insurmountable antagonism of dynamic physiological systems. Despite this, the kinetics of new receptor ligands are rarely measured early in the drug discovery process, largely because current assays are technically difficult and relatively low-throughput. This webinar episode will review the current methods for measuring receptor...


Kinases - Application of New Assay Technologies to Shed Light on Kinase Drug Discovery

The human kinome comprises 518 known protein kinases and more than 20 lipid kinases. Nearly all aspects of control within a cell are modulated by reversible phosphorylation of proteins, mediated by protein kinases. Abnormal phosphorylation is a cause or effect of many diseases including cancer and inflammatory diseases, hence many pharma and biotech companies continue to undertake research and development in this area believing it to be of clinical importance. While we can congratulate...


SMAC Mimetics: A New Class of Cancer Therapeutics

Smac mimetics are a new class of targeted drugs being developed for the treatment of solid tumours and hematologic cancers. Smac mimetics specifically induce apoptotic cancer cell death and block pro-survival signalling in cancer cells. This episode provides an overview of the biology of Smac, an endogenous pro-apoptotic molecule, and the development of Smac mimetics as a novel therapeutic approach to treat cancer. This article was written by Dr Mark A. McKinlay If you'd like to view the...


Next-Generation Sequencing in Drug Development

This episode summarises some of the technical and regulatory challenges posed by next-generation sequencing technologies and the efforts being made to address them. Next-Generation Sequencing is moving quickly from early research into the regulated domains of drug development, diagnostic development, and clinical decision-making. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has moved from the realm of research into those of clinical development, drug approval and clinical diagnostics, as the cost has...


Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Biopharma R&D IT

This episode discusses issues around artificial intelligence & Biopharma R&D IT, and outlines how AI can be a potentially transformative technology for the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries. "...R&D productivity remains an ongoing concern. Artificial Intelligence and the accompanying analytics are now so advanced that these tools promise to improve the traditional drug target selection and R&D process." As noted in the Ernst & Young report Beyond borders Biotechnology report 2017...


Automating Flow Cytometry for Cell-Based Screening in Drug Discovery

Flow cytometry is a powerful tool for cell quantitation and analysis across a wide range of clinical and research applications. Most commonly used in the fields of immunology and haematology, recent improvements in instrument automation and throughput mean that the technique is now emerging as an increasingly attractive high-throughput screening (HTS) platform in drug discovery too. Flow cytometry is a widely-used analytical method that uses light to count and characterise heterogeneous...


The Cancer Conundrum - Increasing Clinical Success With Early Phase Drug Discovery

Increasing clinical success by implementing improved methodologies in early phase drug discovery. Using primary cells and 3D culture models to enhance cancer drug discovery. The high stakes of drug discovery and development lead pharmaceutical companies to be meticulous in ensuring a target is validated and that compounds are effective against this target in order to have the best chance of developing a successful drug. Taking into account the long-term investment of both time and money to...


Targeting Kinases for Drug Discovery (Bonus Webinar Episode)

Welcome to this bonus episode of the Drug Discovery Podcast. Today’s episode is an hour long episode taken from one of our DDW Webinars. Kinases are one of the most widely-studied drug target classes, with over 20 years in the spotlight for drug discovery research. Selecting optimized assays for screening, hit validation, selectivity profiling, and lead optimization, represents key steps towards identifying candidate compounds for preclinical and clinical development. With over 500 related...


Emerging Drug Discovery Alliance Models

The current environment for early-stage drug discovery and development is fluid and the probability of success continues to be challenging. Advancing an idea from an academic or basic research setting into a therapeutic product that benefits patients is time- and capital-intensive, sometimes inefficient and – frustratingly often – unsuccessful. This reality has led entities in the early drug discovery and development ecosystem to utilise new alliance-based partnership models to increase...


Novel Drug Targets From Phenotypic Screening

Identifying functional molecules with the potential to be developed into new therapeutics is often the sole aim of phenotypic drug discovery. However, the approach also provides valuable opportunities to uncover previously unknown, disease-specific drug receptors that can then be exploited through target driven means. Although target deconvolution has a reputation as a major bottleneck in phenotypic drug development, advances allowing for rapid identification of specific receptors for both...


Discovery & Development of Inhaled Biopharmaceuticals

With the rapid generation of biological screening data and the potential for innovative selection of compounds for screening, the importance of multivendor collaborations together with improvements in automation has never been greater in terms of helping the drug discovery community as a whole. The creation and subsequent development of inhaled biologics has become highly significant as it is now the route of choice for the delivery of numerous drugs. This is especially the case with...


An Update On Hepatitis B (HBV) Therapies

The hepatitis B crisis is a worldwide unmet medical need. Hepatitis B (HBV) is the cause of a silent epidemic that has resulted in a worldwide healthcare crisis. Despite the significant burden it places on communities across the globe, hepatitis had been mainly ignored as a health and clinical development priority until recently. Hepatitis B infections are a leading cause of disability and death worldwide. In fact, hepatitis causes as many deaths annually as tuberculosis, AIDs or malaria....


Is The Cloud Enabling Bioinformatics To Become The Biology Solutions Domain?

For many years we have used the term bioinformatics to describe, well, anything outside cheminformatics in the R&D informatics domain. It has been a ‘catch-all’ term to label informatics tools that handle biologically relevant information. But the tools and software that have been labelled as such have not been expansive – albeit they are biology centric. In this episode we look at the history and the challenges that exist in the biology field and examine how the cloud, ‘appification’,...