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"Academic Drug Discovery: Sulfatase Inhibitors from Concept to Clinic and Beyond"

4 November 2015, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Chemistry lies at the heart of drug discovery and synthetic medicinal chemists play a pivotal role since, at least for small molecule drugs, their skills define structure and provide for the strongest patents. There has never been a more important time to discover new drugs, but it is getting ever harder. With growing genetic and structural information and the aspirations of "Personalised Medicine" there has also never been a more exciting time to be involved in the science of drug discovery.

We read almost daily about a looming "post-antibiotic era". There is the challenge of conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's as the population ages, where new drugs are lacking. Modern "molecular-targeted" anticancer drugs regularly make the headlines both for their cutting edge science and their huge cost. However, 9 times out of 10, drug candidates showing early stage promise are destined for failure at expensive later clinical trials and the old "blockbuster" model of big pharma drug discovery no longer works. Why is it all so difficult and what can be done?

Professor Barry Potter will provide examples and insights from an academic perspective and discuss how greater academia-industry cooperation is becoming fashionable. He is Professor of Biological & Medicinal Chemistry at Oxford University and until recently held the Chair of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Bath.

Although an academic, he raised venture capital to cofound a university spin-out drug discovery company acquired by big pharma, has brought academically-discovered drugs to many human clinical trials in the cancer and women's health areas and has also worked directly with pharma via a formal university-industry partnership. He has published and patented widely in drug discovery and biological chemistry, winning several RSC and industrial prizes.
University of Liverpool

Brunner Lecture Theatre, University of Liverpool, Chemistry Building, Crown Street, Liverpool, L69 7ZD, United Kingdom

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