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A Dial-a-Molecule EPSRC Grand Challenge theme event, part of the Royal Society Year of Science and Industry

The last 10 years has seen a radical restructuring of global pharma R&D in response to the increasingly challenging process of discovering, progressing and launching a new drug. A consequence of this has been the tapering of UK synthetic and medicinal chemistry capacity; this offers an opportunity for academic synthetic chemists to generate impact in the drug discovery process, especially in the hit/lead identification phase of the drug pipeline.

The 3D Fragment Consortium is an EPSRC-funded network, which aims to expand the chemical space of drug discovery by leveraging novel class-leading academic synthetic chemistry. Access to such cutting-edge synthetic expertise will empower and enable the study of drug target classes previously lacking high quality chemical start points; such as protein-protein interactions. Given the UK strength in chemical synthesis, a chemical consortium focused upon the implementation of powerful synthetic methods would be perfectly placed to design and deliver novel threedimensional chemical libraries for fragment screening to complement existing fragment libraries.

As part of the Royal Society Year of Science and Industry, in collaboration with the ‘Dial-a-Molecule’ EPSRC Grand Challenge Network and, this workshop will present the opportunities and benefits for academic synthetic chemists. In particular, the workshop will discuss:

  • how class-leading academic synthesis can be used in a drug discovery context
  • the key features of fragment libraries, and their relevance to cutting-edge research groups
  • the tools available to enable synthetic chemists to make contributions to the drug discovery process
  • constructing an inclusive network of med chem-facing academic chemists
  • funding possibilities
  • how to deal with IP issues

The workshop will be restricted to 40 delegates; presentations will be given by MRC Tech, Dr.Paul Brennan (Structural Genomics Consortium), Prof. Gregory Challis (University of Warwick)and Dr. Stuart Conway (University of Oxford).

In addition to the presentations, there will be three sessions of issue-focused facilitated discussion, during which a strategy for forming and progressing a synthetic consortium will be created. The key deliverable of the event will be the creation of a blueprint for successful collaborations between academic chemists and drug-hunting organizations.


Places are extremely limited for this event. As such, please enquire about places to Susanne Coles.