In January 2016, we invited Early Career Researchers from the consortium and the wider European Scientific Community for a 2-day meeting on latest advances in Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry with relevance to pharmaceutical Drug Development. Students and PostDocs from many European universities participated and senior industry representatives in the audience were particularly impressed by the innovative library designs presented by the young scientist. Several prizes were awarded.
The prize winners were: James Firth (University of Leeds) for best presentation on “Synthesis of Structurally Diverse 3D Scaffolds from Simple Furans”, Daniel Blanco (Radboud University) for best poster titled “Rigid Tricyclic Amino Ketones by Intramolecular Cycloaddition and Libraries Thereof” and Elena Lenci (University of Florence) for best flash presentation on “Diversity-Oriented Synthesis of Carbohydrate-derived Scaffolds”.
Some quotes from participants:
“I really appreciate that some partners from industry told me, you make nice molecules but from the industry’s point of view you should try this substrate, this substrate, this substrate, so I got a lot of useful ideas that I want to try when I get back.” – Júlia Comas-Barceló, PhD student, Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield
“I have to review my synthesis because in some steps I had some catalysts which are very expensive because in academia we do not think about the costs.” – prize winner for best flash presentation Elena Lenci, PhD student, Department of Chemistry, University of Florence
“Chemistry remains the cornerstone of any successful drug discovery program” – Dr. Jeremy Davis, Director Hit Discovery, UCB Biopharma
“We invited external academic participants, student and PostDoc, to join us in the learning achievements workshop in order to train them on the process of how to submit a potential scaffold but also to present their work they are currently working on.” – Dr. Dimitrios Tzalis, CEO Taros Chemicals, EULeadFactory Project Executive member
The European Lead Factory, the largest research project in Drug Discovery under IMI funding, acknowledges the need for open exchange between researchers with different professional background and puts a focus on the career development of young scientists.
#EULeadFactory hopes to continue the tradition of fostering networking between academia, SMEs and industry and providing young talents a chance to present their work.
The research leading to these results has received support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n°115489, resources of which are composed of financial contribution from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) and EFPIA companies’ in kind contribution.