Finding new drug leads for medical conditions with unmet solutions is one of the biggest hurdles in recent drug discovery as the ‘obvious’ drug candidates have already been found. Plus, there are more molecular targets to develop new drugs
against thanks to the rapid pace of medical research. Many of these new molecular targets are more complex, such as protein-protein interactions (PPIs) or protein-nucleic acid complexes and move ‘drug hunters’ into less explored chemical
space from which to find or design appropriate lead compounds. Luckily, synthetic chemistry and other innovations have expanded the chemical space new drug leads can occupy while still fitting the properties of a ‘good drug’. Join fellow
discovery chemists and biologists at the Lead Generation Strategies conference to review the various advances and strategies for finding and creating novel drug leads in today’s expanded chemical and molecular universe.
RECOMMENDED PREMIUM PACKAGE:
Choose 2 Short Courses and 2 Conferences/Training Seminars
September 16 Pre-Conference Short Course: SC5: Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Drug Discovery and Development
September 17-18 Conference: Lead Generation Strategies
September 18 Dinner Short Course: SC9: Targeted Protein Degradation Using PROTACs, Molecular Glues and More
September 18-19 Conference: Kinase Inhibitor Discovery
Day 1 | Day 2 | Download Brochure | Speaker Biographies
Monday, September 16
1:00 pm Pre-Conference Short Course Registration (America Foyer)
Click here for details on short courses offered.
Tuesday, September 17
7:00 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee (America Foyer)
8:00 Organizer's Welcome Remarks
8:05 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
Robert D. Mazzola, PhD, Director, Chemical Research, Merck Research Labs
8:10 FEATURED PRESENTATION: Interplay between Lead Generation and Target Validation in AbbVie Early Chemistry: A Wild-Type Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 1 Case Study
J. Brad Shotwell,
PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Tool and Lead Generation Chemistry Group Leader, AbbVie
Inhibition of wild type isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), a key source of cytosolic NADPH under conditions of cellular stress, represents an inroad for treatment of VHL-null mutant renal cell carcinomas. We will summarize AbbVie’s IDH1 lead-finding
activities as they inform both best practices for an integrated hit confirmation approach and the critical interplay between small molecule lead generation and the pharmacological testing of novel target hypotheses.
8:40 Exploiting Pilot Screen Hits to Pressure-Test HTS Screening Triage Funnels
Michael Finley, PhD, Principal Scientist, Screening, Discovery Sciences, Janssen R&D
High-throughput screening (HTS) of small molecule libraries requires careful consideration of potential off-target mechanisms that may contribute to false positives or mask identification of on-target active compounds. Employing a pilot screen of representative
chemotypes of the larger collection provides a means to pressure test a triage strategy with initial hits. We illustrate several examples in which pilot data were used to identify and address gaps in HTS triage.
9:10 Encoded Library Technologies as Integrated Lead Finding Platforms for Drug Discovery
Jonas V. Schaefer, PhD, Laboratory Head, Encoded Library Technologies, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Chemical Biology & Therapeutics (CBT), Novartis Pharma AG
The scope of targets investigated in pharmaceutical research is continuously moving into uncharted territory. Consequently, finding suitable chemical matter with the current compound collections is proving increasingly difficult. Encoded library technologies
allow for the rapid exploration of a large chemical space for the identification of ligands for such targets. In the presentation, we will discuss how we apply these platforms in our research, including how we narrow the myriad of hits to a few leads,
and why we believe it is beneficial to run both pipelines in-house.
9:40 Grand Opening Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (America Ballroom)
10:25 Phenotypic Screening Approaches to ALS
G. Brown, PhD, Director, External Chemistry, Hit Discovery, Discovery Sciences, IMED Biotech Unit, AstraZeneca
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease has been linked to certain genes and proteins such as repeat G4C2 expansions in the C9ORF72 gene leading to translation of poly-PR proteins and mutant FUS which are toxic and undergoaberrant folding, translation,
aggregation or localization. We will discuss the output of phenotypic screens on these proteins using a yeast strain in a drug-pump deletion background and efforts towards target deconvolution.
10:55 Phenotypic Screening and Chemical Biology Strategies to Identify Mechanisms that Regulate Brain Apolipoprotein E Levels
Pettersson, PhD, Research Fellow, Internal Medicine & Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer
Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is a 34 kDa protein that functions as a transporter of cholesterol and phospholipids in both the brain and the periphery. In the brain, it is produced primarily by astro-cytes, and plays an important role in neuronal repair, synaptogenesis,
and clearance of neurotoxic amyloid β peptides. This presentation will describe phenotypic screening approaches to identify compounds that regulate ApoE secretion. Chemical biology strategies to elucidate mechanism of action will also be discussed.
11:25 CryoEM Applications for Drug Discovery
Seungil Han, PhD, Cryo-EM Lab Head, Structural & Molecular Sciences, Pfizer Global R&D
Since the introduction of direct electron detectors, the resolution and range of biological molecules amenable to single particle cryo-EM have significantly widened. The prospects of studying protein-ligand interactions of large macromolecular complexes
such as ribosome, viral glycoprotein complexes, ion-channels, gamma-secretase etc. without having to generate single crystal, are definitely appealing. We have started to work on several targets to support the discovery of new drugs and vaccines.
I will describe the applications of cryo-EM and progresses we have made.
11:55 Preclinical Approaches to Develop Treatment for Tinnitus
Sylvie Pucheu, CSO, CILcare
Tinnitus is usually perceived as an intermittent or continuous sound. There are many mechanisms inducing tinnitus (acoustic trauma, drug intake, oxidative stress, inflammation), for which there are no approved drugs. This is why CILcare proposes preclinical
approaches to help pharmaceutical companies develop new therapies to prevent and treat tinnitus.
12:10 pm Deep Learning Applied to de novo Drug Design
Yann Gaston-Mathé, CEO, Iktos
Simultaneous optimization of multiple objectives is a major challenge in drug discovery. We present the application of Iktos’ AI technology to a complex MPO challenge in a real-life lead optimization project and show that the technology is capable
of generating compounds matching all the objectives of the target product profile.
12:25 Session Break
12:35 Luncheon Presentation: Grating-Coupled Interferometry’s Integration into Leadxpro’s Structure-Based Drug Discovery Pipeline
Nicolas Bocquet, PhD, Principal Scientist, leadXpro AG
LeadXpro is a world-class structure based lead (small molecules and biologics) discovery company focusing on challenging membrane protein drug targets, including G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels and transporters. With access to state-of-the-art facilities for structure determination, incluiding the SwissFEL and a single particle cryo-EM system, leadXpro uses the Grating-Coupled Interferometry (GCI) technology to characterize in depth ligand interactions to transmembrane proteins, a significant challenge in the drug discovery “gene-to-lead” process.
1:15 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
1:50 Chairperson’s Remarks
Beth Knapp-Reed, PhD, Scientific Leader, NCE-MD Medicinal Chemistry, R&D
Platform Technology & Science, GSK
1:55 Use of Chemotype Evolution to Discover Novel, Potent, Irreversible Inhibitors of the Oncogenic G12C Mutant Form of k-RAS
Dan Erlanson, PhD, Co-Founder, Carmot Therapeutics
The protein KRAS has been intensively studied as an oncology target. This presentation will demonstrate how a powerful lead discovery technology, Chemotype Evolution, along with medicinal chemistry and structure-based drug design, were combined to
discover novel, irreversible small molecule inhibitors of the oncogenic G12C mutant form of KRAS with potent biochemical and cell-based activity.
2:25 Reactive-Cysteine Profiling for Covalent Ligand Discovery
Eranthie Weerapana, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Boston College
Reactive and functional cysteine residues provide ideal anchors for covalent ligands. This presentation will focus on the application of a chemical-proteomic technology, known as isoTOP-ABPP, to identify functional cysteines, and monitor proteome-wide
selectivity of cysteine-targeted ligands.
2:55 Poster Spotlights
Fragment-Based Molecular Discovery Approach to RAGE Inhibitors
Natalia Kozlyuk, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Structural Biology, Walter Chazin Laboratory, Vanderbilt University
3:25 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing and Poster Competition Winner Announced
4:05 Covalent Fragments Technology for Drug Lead Generation: Past, Present, and Future
Alexander Statsyuk, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston
Covalent fragments is a new lead generation technology, which rests on principles of covalent drug design and fragment-based drug discovery. The main advantage of covalent fragments relative to reversible fragments is that they have enhanced potency
and that crystal structures of covalent fragments bound to protein targets can readily be obtained. I will talk about the use of this technology to discover E3 ligase inhibitors and the technology’s future applications in target-based and
4:35 Applying Covalent Fragment Approaches to E3 Ligase Inhibitor Discovery
Katrin Rittinger, PhD, Professor, Molecular Structure of Cell Signaling, The Francis Crick Institute, UK
Protein ubiquitination is a critical mechanism to regulate almost all biological processes and defects in the ubiquitin system that are associated with many diseases. However, only a limited number of inhibitors against enzymes of the ubiquitin system
are available. I will present a fragment-based covalent ligand screening approach to identify inhibitors of thioester-forming E3 ubiquitin ligases and describe the structure-based development of an inhibitor specific for the RBR ligase HOIP.
5:05 Interactive Breakout Discussion Groups - View All Breakouts
Join a breakout discussion group. These are informal, moderated discussions with brainstorming and interactive problem solving, allowing participants from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and experiences and develop future collaborations
around a focused topic.
Integrating FBLD with Other Screening Methods
Moderator: Robert D. Mazzola, PhD, Director, Chemical Research, Merck Research Labs
- Fragment screens vs. HTS vs. DNA-Encoded Libraries (DEL)? Or combos?
- Prosecuting hits: Use separate teams of chemists? Collect data simultaneously?
- Sharing examples/lessons learned
New Biophysical Technologies
Moderator: Anup Upadhyay, PhD, Senior Scientist III, Drug Discovery Science & Technology, AbbVie
- Biophysical techniques for protein conformational plasticity and hydrodynamic properties, e.g., microscale thermophoresis (MST), second harmonic generation (SHG)
- ‘Toolbox’ biophysical techniques: Which are most popular? Which to use for which applications?
- Correlating results from various biophysical approaches: Identifying and validating true hits
Moderators: Svetlana Belyanskaya, PhD, Scientific Leader, Encoded Library Technologies, R&D Platform Technology & Science, GlaxoSmithKline Boston
NEW: Chris Phelps, PhD, Manager, R&D Platform Technology & Science, GlaxoSmithKline Boston
- Different types/approaches (i.e., DNA recorded, DNA templated libraries)
- Current constraints on DNA-Encoded Libraries (DNA compatible chemistry, library diversity, selection methods)
- Applications/target classes
6:05 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (America Ballroom)
7:10 Close of Day
Day 1 | Day 2 | Download Brochure | Speaker Biographies
Wednesday, September 18
7:30 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee (America Foyer)
8:00 Chairperson’s Remarks
J. Brad Shotwell, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Tool and Lead Generation
Chemistry Group Leader, AbbVie
8:05 Fragment Screening to Assess Target Ligandability
Edfeldt, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Discovery Sciences, R&D Biopharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden
Evaluating the ligandability, or chemical tractability, of a protein target is critical when defining hit-finding strategies or to prioritize amongst potential targets. Fragment screening has emerged as a useful approach for this purpose. We demonstrate
that thermal shift assays can be used as a simple and generic biophysical method to assess target ligandability. We have applied the method to a set of proteins and show that the assessment is predictive for the success of HTS.
8:35 Fragment-Based Approach to Lactate Dehydrogenase A (LDHA) Inhibitors
Beth Knapp-Reed, PhD, Scientific Leader, NCE-MD Medicinal Chemistry, R&D Platform Technology & Science, GSK
A fragment-based approach was used to identify a unique series of LDHA inhibitors with good ligand efficiencies. Subsequent optimization delivered a novel lead series with LDHA cellular activity of 10 μM, selectivity against LDHB, and good
physicochemical properties. The overall strategy of identifi-cation and optimization, lessons learned, and some guiding principles of the FBDD effort will be presented in the context of the discovery of a fragment-derived lead series for the
inhibition of LDHA.
9:05 CDH and Polipa: Novel Approaches to Overcome Target Expression Challenges for FBDD
Daniel Hothersall, Senior Assay Development Scientist, Domainex Ltd.
Domainex is opening up new frontiers in fragment-based drug design. Our Combinatorial Domain Hunting technology is a proven, high throughput method for unlocking challenging targets for structural elucidation. PoliPa is a new approach to the solubilisation of membrane targets without the use of detergents or the need to resort to stabilising mutations. Our talk will discuss the application of these technologies to aid FBDD, citing a number of case studies.
9:35 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (America Ballroom)
10:20 Fragment-Based Discovery and Characterization of ERK1/2 Inhibitors
PhD, Associate Director, Molecular Sciences, Astex Pharmaceuticals
Using a fragment-based campaign and multiple screening methods, including high throughput crystallography and biophysical assays, we identified and developed novel, orally bioavailable inhibitors of ERK1/2 – key components of the Ras signaling
pathway in cancer cells. The inhibitors elicit a similar conformational change to currently available inhibitors but also modulate phosphorylation of ERK. Our series of pERK modulating ERK1/2 inhibitors went through progressive rounds of structure-guided
optimization and iterative optimizations. The screening cascade included measurement of pRSK levels and anti-proliferative activity in ras and BRAF mutant cells.
10:50 Drug Discovery Using DNA-Encoded Chemical Libraries
Rachael Jetson, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Lead Discovery, X-Chem Pharmaceuticals
X-Chem’s DNA-encoded chemistry platform provides a method to simultaneously interrogate a diverse chemical library against many targets to identify lead compounds. This presentation will describe the X-Chem platform and highlight case studies
leading to the discovery of novel covalent and non-covalent chemical equity to multiple targets.
11:20 Enjoy Lunch on Your Own
11:20 Conference Registration for Programs 1B-7B
12:20 pm Event Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
An-Dinh Nguyen, Team Lead, Discovery on Target 2019, Cambridge Healthtech Institute
12:30 Plenary Keynote Introduction
Anjan Chakrabarti, Vice President, Discovery Chemistry, Syngene International Ltd
12:40 Base Editing: Chemistry on a Target Nucleotide in the Genome of Living Cells
David R. Liu, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Harvard University
1:20 PROTACs: Past, Present, and Future
Craig M. Crews, PhD, Professor, Chemistry; Pharmacology; Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology; Yale University
2:00 Close of Plenary Keynote Program
2:00 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (America Ballroom)
2:45 Close of Lead Generation Strategies Conference
Day 1 | Day 2 | Download Brochure | Speaker Biographies