The DDU is widely recognised as the most developed and complete drug discovery engine working across multiple therapeutic areas in UK academia.

Hit Discovery

Hit Discovery

  • Purpose-designed laboratories with industry standard equipment and software for medium and high-throughput screening
  • Development of biochemical and cell- based assays for new targets and phenotypes
  • Utilise high quality screening sets, circa 350,000 compounds including diversity and focused sub-sets
  • Variety of assay platforms including biochemical, biophysical and phenotypic
  • Fragment-based screenings: SPR, NMR and Octet RED284
  • High-content imaging and analysis
  • Industry standard data management - IDBS ActivityBase, Dotmatics data management suite
  • Well-validated process for efficient use of compound stocks and delivery of high-quality data sets

Compound Management

  • Full in-house Compound Management plating and storage facilities for latch racks and microplates from a dedicated team.
  • High throughput liquid handling robotics utilising both tip based and acoustic technologies - Tecan Fluent & Evo, and Echo 650 & 550 instruments.
  • Ability to perform Cherry Picking, Library Screening, Potency curve generation, and Plate Reformatting in 96, 384 and 1536 well plate formats.
  • Manage a high quality screening library comprising of over 350,000 compounds, comprised of Diversity screening sets and Focus libraries.
  • Manage and curate libraries for the DDU and external partners, supplying certain libraries globally.

Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry

  • Extensive laboratories equipped for synthetic medicinal chemistry, including 40 double fume hoods
  • Multi-parameter optimisation (hit-to-lead and lead-to-candidate), identification of drug-like molecules
  • Pharmacophore and series specific in silico models at an early stage
  • Structure-based drug design using protein-ligand structures
  • Ligand-based computational chemistry for phenotypic series
  • State-of-the-art compound synthesis platforms in place including parallel array synthesis and automated purification with stringent quality control analysis.
  • Routine NMR spectra as well as fragment screening and structure elucidation.

Computational Chemistry and Informatics

  • Supports all phases of the drug discovery process from target druggability to hit identification, hit-to-lead and lead optimisation
  • Compound design using ligand and structure based approaches, molecular dynamics (MD), quantum mechanics (QM) and machine learning (ML)
  • Chemoinformatic support for chemical space analysis, library design and HTS results triage
  • Multiparameter optimisation platform integrating QM, ML and artificial intelligence driven generative approaches

Molecular Interactions

  • Cloning, expression and purification of protein targets, from construct design to purified protein using E.coli, Pichia pastoris, Baculovirus and Expi293 (mammalian) expression systems.
  • Structural Biology & Biophysical Techniques
  • SPR: hit validation and determining enzyme kinetics
  • All aspects of protein crystallography, including 3D structure determination of protein targets complexed with hit molecules, facilitating the rational design of more effective inhibitors
  • Access to synchrotron radiation sources in the UK (Diamond) and Europe (ESRF).
Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics

Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics

  • Integrated DMPK group supporting hit and lead optimisation programmes
  • Drive towards identifying leads with better drug-like characteristics early in the drug discovery process.
  • Industry standard in vitro ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity) and DMPK (drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics) profiling
  • State-of-the-art UPLC-MS/MS
  • In vivo PK/PD and in vivo PoC / efficacy studies
Life Sciences building in Dundee

Business Development

  • IP strategy and management
  • Strategic partnerships with pharma / investor network
  • License negotiation and deal structure
  • Supporting spinout development

Looking for more information?

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please get in touch.