The DDU is widely recognised as the most developed and complete drug discovery engine working across multiple therapeutic areas in UK academia.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- IP strategy and management
- Strategic partnerships with pharma / investor network
- License negotiation and deal structure
- Supporting spinout development
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