New Global Alliance Aims To Speed Up Academic Drug Discovery

Six of the world’s leading health research centres have joined forces to form a global alliance that seeks to strengthen international academic and not-for-profit drug development.

Six of the world’s leading health research centres have joined forces to form a global alliance that seeks to strengthen international academic and not-for-profit drug development. The aim of the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres, which consists of organisations from Europe and North America, is to accelerate the translation of academic research into usable medicines and therapies.

The founding organisations include:

  • The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada

  • Lead Discovery Centre (LDC), Germany

  • The Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Florida, United States

  • The Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3), KU Leuven R&D, Belgium

  • Medical Research Council (MRC) Technology, United Kingdom

  • Cancer Research Technology (CRT), United Kingdom

These organisations are fully integrated translational centres capable of professionally advancing drug discovery projects along the value chain from idea to drug candidate with proof of concept. Represented by nearly 400 experienced individual drug developers, these six organisations have come together to facilitate international cooperation, develop standards and performance measurements, share best practices, expertise and resources, and collaborate on drug development projects – ultimately working together to improve the conversion of global early-stage research into much-needed new therapies. There are currently more than 165 highly innovative therapeutic projects targeting significant unmet medical needs.

“This alliance is a major step forward in further bridging the gap between academic innovative research and the needs of the pharmaceutical industry to the benefit of patients,” said Patrick Chaltin, managing director of Canada’s CDRD. “This will allow every one of us to be more efficient and to align or adapt our research efforts if needed.”

According to the Alliance, there should be more risk-sharing collaborations with the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. “We see a multitude of translational research initiatives around the world, but until now, these have for the most part, worked in isolation of one another,” said Karimah Es Sabar, president and CEO of the CDRD. “This alliance will be a powerful vehicle in bringing such organisations together, leveraging one another’s strengths, and ultimately making for a much more effective global translational research environment.”