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Fragment-Based Lead Discovery: Bridging the Gap Between Screening and Hit-to-Lead Medchem using NMR Affinity Ranking

Challenge: One of the most promising strategies for discovering our future medications is via fragment-based lead discovery (FBLD). FBLD involves the screening of libraries of small molecules to first identify weak binders, essential to activate or inhibit a target protein involved in a particular disease. These binders are then synthetically matured to larger, more potent inhibitors/leads via medicinal chemistry design … Read More

Tuesday November 13th, 2018


Towards the Development of a New Class of Anti-GPCR Antibodies for the Treatment of Aggressive Cancers

Challenge: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent attractive biomarkers and therapeutic target classes in cancer research because their aberrant expression and activity are closely correlated with different stages of tumour initiation and progression. The development of small molecule anticancer drugs targeting GPCRs has so far proven to be quite challenging. Thus, there remains a need to identify new approaches to treating … Read More

Thursday November 8th, 2018


Integrating Functional and Genomic Profiling for Optimal Combination Therapies for Cancer Patients

Challenge: In recent years, a growing number of cancer patients have been treated with therapies targeting specific genetic alterations present in their tumors. Generally, this is done in combination with traditional chemotherapeutic agents that represent the standard of care. However, a systematic analysis to identify the most appropriate combination of chemo and targeted therapy to which a patient will favorably … Read More


Novel Non-Invasive Laser-Assisted Intraocular Drug Delivery System for an Efficient and Selective Gene Transfer Therapy

Challenge: Retinal degenerative diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, are the leading causes of vision loss and affect tens of millions of individuals in the world. Emerging solutions with nucleic acids and therapeutic genes show promise. However, there remains a void in effective and non-invasive drug delivery systems for the back of the eye, which has hindered the … Read More

Wednesday September 12th, 2018


Magnetically Guided Bacteria to Specifically Deliver Anti-Cancer Agents to Colorectal Cancer Sites

Challenge: Many cancers are treated with cocktails of chemotherapeutic drugs designed to prevent growth and spread of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy damages healthy cells, causing undesired side effects such as myelosuppression and cardiotoxicity. Localized drug therapy, if appropriately delivered could have a major impact on quality of life and treatment efficacy. Solution: The lead investigator has pioneered a revolutionary drug delivery … Read More


Drug delivery: silencing RNAs using exosomes

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2014 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: June 2015 Early research has shown that a new type of molecule called silencing RNAs could be readily designed to silence or inhibit virtually any gene in a very specific and powerful manner. This in turns eliminates the expression of the protein encoded by this gene. Because most diseases … Read More


RecyTag technology for extended half-lives of small biologics

  Competition: Programme EXPLORE 2013 Funding: $499,000 / 2 years Platform technology aimed at increasing the half–life of small biologics by conjugating FcRn-binding molecules. Protein-based therapeutics, also called biologics, have recently made significant inroads into the pharmaceutical market, and are being used to treat chronic diseases and cancer. In addition to acting potently and specifically on their molecular targets, efficacious … Read More


Encycle Therapeutics : To determine the rules for making peptide drugs orally bioavailable

  Competition: Quantum Leap 2014 Funding: $838,000 / 1 year Beginning: December 2014 Encycle Therapeutics, a biotechnology company founded by Dr. Andrei Yudin of the University of Toronto is a Canadian start-up emerging as a market leader in finding molecules that can reach therapeutic targets located within cells. Today, the company works to better understand the chemical properties required by … Read More


Development of a rapid, sensitive and specific assay for immunogenicity detection of therapeutic biologics

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2013 Funding: $310,000 / 2 years Beginning: September 2014 Immunogenicity can be a problem when treating patients with biologics, which can result in anti-drug antibody (ADA) production. ADA can reduce the bioavailability of the biologics and cause adverse clinical events. There is a need in the pharmaceutical industry for assays to detect immunogenicity of biologics. It … Read More


Cycloinformatics: A platform for rapid production of medium-sized macrocycles as protein-protein interaction probes

  Competition: Québec / Ontario Program 2011 Funding: $1,000,000 / 2 years Beginning: September 2014 (COMPLETED PROJECT) A new class of cyclic peptide structures called macrocycles could reach intracellular drug targets to modulate protein-protein interactions currently inaccessible to most pharmaceutical agents. The potential to reach an untapped goldmine of new targets has attracted a great deal of interest and excitement in biopharmaceuticals. … Read More


Genetic interactions studies to better establish efficacious drug targets

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2014 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: June 2015 A major challenge for pharmaceutical companies is identifying efficacious drug targets. Genetic interactions, where the effects of disrupting multiple genes at once are measured, enable unbiased interrogation of functional relationships between any genes of interest. When applied to many genes systematically, an interaction network emerges, and this … Read More

Tuesday September 11th, 2018


A platform for in vivo nuclear receptor (NR) drug screening and the discovery of new pathways in metabolic disease and cancer

  Competition: Québec / Ontario Program 2012 Funding: $550,000 / 3 years Beginning: September 2014 Drug discovery is long and expensive, and many drugs that pass through traditional screening fail in development or after approval. Pharmaceutical companies are looking for ways to make the screening process more accurate and cost-effective, thereby enhancing the drug development success rate. We have developed a novel, … Read More


IPPER, the Integrated Platform for the Pharmacology of the Endoplasmic Reticulum and protein trafficking diseases

Challenge: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress occurs when the folding of secreted proteins within the ER lumen is disturbed. The unfolded protein response (UPR) comprises several mechanisms. These adaptive responses attempt to overcome ER protein folding disturbances to promote cellular homeostasis and cell survival. ER stress and the UPR are implicated in many diseases such as neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes … Read More


Measuring cardiac cell contraction to identify new therapies and predict cardiac toxicity

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2015 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: April 2016 Current therapies for heart failure primarily relieve disease symptoms, but most fail to correct the underlying organ dysfunction. New therapies, which are able to target and improve cardiomyocyte function, are challenging to develop, owing significantly to the complex functions of heart muscle and the difficultly in modeling … Read More


New GPCR-Specific Biosensor Technology to Monitor Cellular Events Associated with Drugs Efficacy and Side Effects

Challenge: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) form the largest family of cell surface receptors involved in signal transduction of many hormones and transmitters. It follows that drugs targeting GPCRs represent close to 40% of all drugs on the market today. Recent discoveries regarding their function and mechanism of action help pave the way for the development of more selective therapeutics for … Read More


Mammalian Membrane Two Hybrid (MaMTH), an innovative technology for drug discovery

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2014 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: June 2015 Igor Stagljar and his team have worked over the last 12 years to understand how interactions among a special class of proteins, called membrane proteins, produce either healthy or diseased cells. These proteins, which make up approximately one-third of all proteins in a cell, are responsible for … Read More


Zebrafish HTS platforms for nuclear receptor related drug discovery and pathway elucidation

  Competition: CQDM / CIHR Program 2014 Funding: $1,000,000 / 2 years Beginning: July 2015 Drug discovery is a long and expensive process, and many potential drugs discovered by traditional screening using cells in petri dishes fail in late development or after approval due to unforeseen side effects. Henry Krause’s team has developed a novel drug screening platform that can visualize potential … Read More


Monitoring the Signaling Pathways of G Protein Coupled Receptors in Living Animals to Accelerate Drug Discovery

Challenge: Because they are involved in so many physiological processes, G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are engaged by roughly 40% of marketed drugs and remain a prime target for the development of new therapeutics. To test the activity of drug candidates, understanding their action on their target in living animals is essential. However, this goal represents a significant challenge due … Read More


Three-Dimensional Liver Tissue Models for High-Throughput Screening of the Efficacy and Hepatotoxicity of Drugs

Challenge: Poor efficacy and unpredictable toxic effects are leading causes for the removal of drugs from the market. Many drugs act unpredictably in patients because the preclinical studies fail to accurately model human biology. In particular, the liver requires special attention as it is responsible for metabolizing drugs. Thus, improved liver models could identify and eliminate toxic and ineffective drugs … Read More


A screening technology to improve the discovery of function modifying antibodies

  Competition: Quantum Leap 2017 Funding: $1,000,000 / 1 year Beginning: December 2017 Challenge: Antibody (Ab)-based therapeutics are the fastest growing class of drugs, with approximately 60 approved molecules that represent a market of over $80B. To date, the growth of this market has been due to new therapeutics against targets that can be prepared as soluble antigens. Attention is … Read More


Using patient’s blood to develop a sensory neuron-based platform for new therapies to treat neuropathy

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2015 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: April 2016 A common side effect of life-saving anti-cancer chemotherapy is damage to specialized nerve cells called “sensory neurons”. These cells transmit information from the brain to every other part of the body for movement and awareness of our environment. The damage causes pain symptoms that are so severe … Read More


Monitoring Conformational Changes in Channel Proteins: A Novel Approach for Rapid Screening of Ion Channel Hits

Challenge: Ion channels are involved in numerous physiological functions, and as drug targets have been implicated in a wide range of pathological conditions. However, despite considerable effort, channel-targeted drug discovery has been hampered by the absence of adequate tools to functionally screen molecules that can modulate channel activity. Solution: The researchers have developed an innovative approach to identify compounds that … Read More


FlAsH-walk mapping: a step-by-step approach to GPCR conformation cartography

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2011 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Début : December 2011 (COMPLETED PROJECT) A library for G-protein coupled receptors sensors will be generated to analyze the conformational mapping of receptor dynamics upon binding and activation. Overview This project aims at generating a library for G-protein coupled receptors sensors to analyze the conformational mapping of receptor dynamics upon … Read More


Unlocking a class of challenging drug targets using a next generation screening and lead development platform technology

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2015 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: April 2016 Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) play a crucial role in nearly all cellular processes. Protein complexes have been implicated in many debilitating human diseases, from cancer to viral infections. PPIs generally contain broad, shallow, and relatively featureless binding sites, hence they have historically been perceived as ‘undruggable’ targets in … Read More


qTAP, a novel platform for personalized medicine in cancer

  Competition: CQDM / CIHR Program 2014 Funding: $1,030,000 / 2 years Beginning: July 2015 In the last decade, cancer genomics studies have led to the remarkable revelation that cancer is a much broader and complex disease then initially thought. In parallel, dramatic advances in our ability to design drugs against cancer have created an extensive toolbox of therapeutics. The use of … Read More


Integrated tumour-microenvironment biomarkers for improved targeting of breast cancer therapy

  Competition: FOCUS Program 2011 Funding: $1,300,0003 years Début : September 2011 The aim of this project is to develop enabling tools for better stratification of breast cancer patients by integrating information from the tumor and the surrounding stromal tissu. This will allow the development of personalized therapies relevant to specific tumor subtypes. The genetic heterogeneity of breast cancer tumors … Read More


Plateforme pour l’enrichissement des cellules tumorales circulantes (CTC) pour la caractérisation et la sensibilité à des médicaments anticancéreux

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2012 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years (COMPLETED PROJECT) The major challenge in cancer therapy is to stop its progression to more advanced stages (metastasis) where the disease becomes resistant to most forms of therapeutic interventions. Understanding the mechanisms leading to metastasis is only beginning to emerge and is key to develop specific therapeutic interventions. Another complicating … Read More


Dimer Interference: A novel Approach to Develop Galectin-7-Specific Inhibitors to treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Challenge: Galectins are a family of lectin proteins implicated in tumor progression and immune evasion. When produced in excess by cancer cells, galectins can form homodimers and bind glycans on the surface of T cells. This suppresses the local and systemic immune response in patients, helping tumors to escape immune surveillance and limiting the efficacy of immuno-oncology treatments. To date, … Read More


Circumventing the need for predictive biomarkers in personalized ovarian cancer therapies: empirical chemosensitivity testing using a microfluidics-based multiplex platform

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2012 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: September 2014 (COMPLETED PROJECT) Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Only a portion of women diagnosed with this cancer will respond to conventional drugs, and alternative therapies only work in some cases. In order to better tailor treatment, personalized medicine has turned to ‘markers’ … Read More


Identification of new biomarkers for neuroendocrine cancers

  Competition: Quantum Leap Québec –  France 2010 Funding: $1,160,000 / 3 years Début : September 2014 (COMPLETED PROJECT) This project will investigate the mechanisms resulting in hypersecretion by neuroendocrine tumors, as well as identify the changes to the proteins secreted by such tumors. Identified candidate targets for modulation of hypersecretion could generate improved therapies. Furthermore, the resulting identification of … Read More


Integrated platform to identify synthetic lethality opportunities in cancer therapy

  Competition: FOCUS Program 2010 Funding: $2,000,000 / 3 years Beginning: Septembre 2010 (COMPLETED PROJECT) The proposed platform will allow the identification of cellular pathways and gene targets acting in synergy with new or existing drugs for cancer therapy. This platform could also generate novel biomarkers to predict treatment response through personalized medicine. In recent years, only 8% of new … Read More


A novel Raman-based multiplex imaging platform for breast cancer biomarkers

  Competition: SynergiQc 2016 Funding: $1,037,155 / 2 years Beginning: April 2017 Challenge: Extensive characterization of tumors is central to the development of personalized therapies such as immunotherapy, now considered one of the most promising and innovative approaches to treatments in the fight against cancer. The capability to detect a multitude of biomarkers simultaneously on the same tissue section would therefore … Read More

Monday September 10th, 2018


Facilitating Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery with Selective Inhibitors to Modulate the Protein Ubiquitination Process

Challenge: Human cells eliminate non-functional proteins using a sophisticated degradation pathway named the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), in which UPS enzymes attach a small protein called ubiquitin to damaged target proteins to tag them for degradation. However, abnormalities in protein degradation are frequently observed in many diseases, including cancer where aberrant control of protein degradation can lead to uncontrolled cell … Read More


Developing new Alzheimer’s therapeutics using novel blood brain barrier carrier technology

  Competition: Focus on Brain 2014 Funding: $2,413,133 / 3 years Beginning: May 2015 Challenge: Of the top 10 most fatal illnesses in the world, Alzheimer’s disease is the only one for which there is currently no disease-modifying therapy available. Alzheimer’s disease becomes progressively more prevalent as people age, rising from over 11% of the population 65 and older to … Read More


In-vivo Solid Phase Microextraction Integrated with Mass Spectrometry Platform for Untargeted and Targeted Investigation of the Brain

Challenge: One of the major challenges currently faced by the pharmaceutical industry is the development of alternative approaches that allow the gathering of maximum information using a minimum number of animals. With regard to analytical instruments, mass spectrometers offer increasingly sensitive and quantitative determination of biological molecules. However, collected biological samples, especially tissues, require efficient sample preparation prior to mass … Read More


Catecholamine-Regulated Protein 40 (CRP40) as a New Candidate Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder afflicting 1 to 2% of the population over 65 years of age and for which there is neither a reliable diagnostic test nor cure. Since catecholamine-regulated protein 40 (CRP40) may be involved in regulation of dopamine in the brain, it represents a potential biomarker for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. … Read More


Development of automated zebrafish high throughput screening technology platforms to accelerate screening of small molecules in disease models of protein misfolding and aggregation

  Competition: Québec / Ontario Program 2013 Funding: $910,000 / 3 years Beginning: September 2014 This project is a groundbreaking collaboration between researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital (SMH) and Treventis Corporation (both in Toronto), as well as the University of Montreal. Dr. Xiao-Yan Wen (SMH) and Dr. Pierre Drapeau (University of Montreal) are experts in zebrafish models of disease. The zebrafish is … Read More


Non-Invasive Diagnostic Test Using Electroretinography for Profiling Patients with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders

Challenge: Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression affect 25 million of individuals in North America. Early identification of risk factors for people with genetic predispositions remains the most promising avenue for improving the treatments for these diseases. However, there are multiple subgroups of patients within a specific disease whose condition is mediated by different molecular pathologies, … Read More


Innovative Optical Imaging and Bio-Simulation Platforms to Accelerate Central Nervous System Drug Discovery

Challenge: The development of efficient drugs targeting central nervous system (CNS) diseases remains a challenge, especially because of a lack of effective methods for studying processes occurring at the synaptic level. Protein interactions at the synapse are known to be modified under pathological conditions and to induce important changes in cellular function. Despite great advances in imaging, it remains difficult … Read More


Cyto-iGluSnFR: A glutamate biosensor platform for brain diseases

  Competition: Focus on Brain 2014 Funding: $1,416,375 / 3 years Beginning: May 2015 Challenge: In the human brain and retina, the chemical glutamate is a very important messenger that carries information from one neuron to another. The levels of glutamate transmitted between neurons must be tightly controlled: too high and neurons die, too low and information is not communicated … Read More


A Blood-Brain Barrier Carrier Platform for Delivery of Multiple Classes of Therapeutics for Treating CNS Diseases

  Competition: Focus on Brain 2014 Funding: $2,573,875 / 3 years Beginning: May 2015 Challenge: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly woven layer of vascular cells in the brain that prevents harmful molecules from the circulation, viruses and toxins, from entering the brain. To allow entry of nutrients into the brain, the BBB employs molecular transporters that shuttle nutrients … Read More


Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model Characterization: Correlation Between MRI and ex vivo Immunohistochemistry

Challenge: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting elderly people. There is currently no early diagnostic method available and there is no effective treatment. Better characterization of new animal models is therefore essential to enable the discovery of new therapeutics for AD. Solution: To maximize the information obtained from MRI and PET imaging studies of animal models for … Read More


Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease in the Prodromal Stage from Non-Invasive Hyperspectral Retinal Images

Challenge: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects millions of people worldwide, causing an irreversible and debilitating loss of neuro-cognitive functions, with no cure currently available. At the moment, AD diagnosis can be confirmed post-mortem or through complex in vivo imaging approaches (Positron Emission Tomography or PET scanner) by observing two AD hallmarks in the brain, the deposition of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and … Read More


Quantitative O2 MRI: a new window on mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer’s Disease

  Competition: FOCUS Program 2012 Funding: $1,500,000 / 3 years Beginning: September 2012 Dr Hoge’s team has developed a new MRI-based method (QUO2 MRI) for non-invasive imaging of oxidative metabolism in the human brain. The objective of this project is therefore to optimize the method in Alzheimer’s disease patients to characterize mitochondrial dysfunction hypothesized to be a contributing factor in … Read More


Inducible Mouse Models to Accelerate Drug Development for Parkinson’s Disease and Other Synucleinopathies

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by motor symptoms, cognition, speech, mood, and behaviour disorders. While PD is currently diagnosed based on motor impairment, the non-motor deficits (the prodromal stage) typically precede the motor symptoms by several years. PD is associated with the presence of Lewy bodies and neurites composed of misfolded fibrillar α-synuclein. The recent development of animal models … Read More


Targeting the Right Cells: Human MiniPromoters for Restricted Gene Expression in Specific Cells of the Eyes

Challenge: Diseases of the eye, sometimes leading to blindness represent an enormous burden in terms of human suffering and economic cost. New gene therapies where promoters act as switches to modulate gene expression could offer cures, but such expression is difficult to target to the appropriate diseased cells. Due to their size, complexity and regulation, endogenous promoters can rarely be … Read More


Inducible human pluripotent stem cells to better understand and treat Parkinson’s disease and ALS

  Competition: Focus on Brain 2015 Funding: $1,480,000 / 3 years Beginning: November 2016 Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are two of the most common and devastating neurodegenerative diseases, affecting one in 50 Canadians over 65 years old. With Canada’s aging population, and without any current efficacious treatments for these diseases, it is imperative to develop new … Read More


ShARP: Screenable Assays for RNA-Binding Proteins Involved in Brain Disorders

Challenge: Brain disorders such as autism, major depressive disorder and Alzheimer’s disease are among the greatest medical challenges of our era. Many drugs targeting the central nervous system (CNS) have been developed to modulate G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels, or transporters with mitigated success. There remains a shortage of disease-relevant targets that can be harnessed for drug discovery to treat … Read More

Friday September 7th, 2018


PulmoBind: A New Non-Invasive Marker for the Early Diagnosis of Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

Challenge: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a condition associated with loss of blood vessels in the lungs leading to a gradual increase in shortness of breath and substantial disability and mortality. The development of effective drugs is impeded by the lack of non-invasive tests to detect the disease at an early stage and to follow its progression. Solution: The goal of … Read More


Multiplexing Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging demonstrator Formule for HCS Systems for studies of protein-protein interactions in live cells

  Competition: Québec / Ontario Program 2012 Funding: $2,903,000 / 3 years Beginning: September 2014 Early in the drug discovery process, screening tests are used to rapidly pinpoint drug candidates that will have a potent effect on the target pathology. Recently, screening has started to be conducted within living cells with sophisticated automated microscopy systems (HCS: High-Content Screening). HCS is getting much … Read More


VLPExpress®: Novel high-throughput discovery platform to accelerate the development of new vaccines based on Virus-Like Particles

Challenge: Despite the enormous benefits that traditional vaccines have brought to human health in the last century, preventable diseases continue to claim millions of lives each year. New vaccine technologies that offer speed and versatility in production would have significant impact. The emergence of technologies based on Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) has paved the way for a new generation of vaccines … Read More


Identification of T Cell Receptor Somatic Mutations Driving Autoimmunity in Human Rheumatoid Arthritis

Challenge: Somatic mutations are de novo non-inherited mutations which can be passed down to other cells through the course of cell division. Their role has been well-established in cancer. However, the presence of somatic mutations in non-malignant disease has never been explored since it is unlikely that a single point mutation would be sufficient to cause disease. Linking somatic mutations … Read More


A novel phage-based screening technology for antiviral

Challenge: Infection with herpes viruses is associated with several immunodeficient human diseases including the development of cancers. Patients receiving organ transplants are particularly sensitive to such infections. These patients are treated with antiviral agents; however, approved drugs are often associated with severe side effects and the development of resistance can compromise therapy. There is thus an urgent need to discover … Read More


New Processes Mimicking the Spray drying technique for the Preparation of Thermally Stable Vaccines

Challenge: The storage and worldwide distribution of vaccines represent complex issues for pharmaceutical companies due to vaccine instability at ambient temperatures. Spray drying is an established industrial processing technology for stabilizing many products as dried powders. Although studies have shown spray drying to be promising for preparing thermally stable vaccines in order to alleviate cold chain requirements, to date, no … Read More


A new platform to Assess Antigen Destruction and Evaluate the Efficacy of Immunotherapies and Vaccines

Challenge: The fight against cancer, infectious diseases and chronic disorders has been significantly advanced because of the development of effective immunotherapies, vaccines and immunomodulatory drugs. New pre-clinical tools to enable this new active field of drug discovery are needed further upstream in the discovery process. More functional and physiologically relevant readouts are necessary to address the lack of pre-clinical immunogenicity … Read More


Selectomics to monitor and predict the emergence of resistance to antibiotics

  Competition: Programme FOCUS 2011 Funding: $2,000,000 / 3 years Beginning: September 2011 (COMPLETED PROJECT) In the search for causes of the major problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotic drugs, look no further than your own intestinal tract. Researchers are exploring the complex microbial ecosystem of this part of the human body, which could harbor many of the genes that … Read More


Innervated, Vascularised and Immunocompetent Human Skin Model for Screening the Sensitization Potential of Chemicals

Challenge: One of the major concerns in the development of a new compound by the chemical, pharmaceutical or cosmetic industries is to assess its ability to induce cutaneous allergic reactions. Indeed, the industry must be able to predict such risk and classify it before commercialization of new molecules. To date, these tests are performed on animals, raising issues of both … Read More

Thursday September 6th, 2018


Novel in silico-assisted Platform to Rapidly Enhance Specificity and Affinity of Therapeutic Antibodies Against Their Targets

Challenge: The design of superior biologic therapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies, single-domain antibodies, and engineered proteins requires optimizing their ability to bind to disease targets. Antibodies offer many advantages over small molecules in treating diseases, but the process for generating them is complex, expensive and often requires further steps of affinity maturation to achieve the desired level of potency. Molecular … Read More


Detection of Molecular Interaction Field Similarities for the Rational Drug Design of Multi-Functional Inhibitors

Challenge: Binding promiscuity plays a major role in medicine as promiscuous drug interactions may lead to undesirable cross-reactivity effects. This represents a considerable challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. Drugs act by modulating the function of target proteins. However, additional off-site non-target proteins may also be affected due to similarities between binding sites. This unintentional effect may lead to the serendipitous … Read More


Computational and machine learning approaches to improve design and screening of high bioactivity peptides for drug discovery

Competition: Programme FOCUS 2014 Funding: $1,600,000 / 3 years Beginning: December 2014 The cost of developing new drugs is now widely acknowledged by industry leaders as prohibitive, with some estimates now in excess of $ 5B per drug. It is imperative that new approaches are developed to mitigate the cost and time required to bring new drugs to market. To … Read More

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