Recent advances in diagnostics and treatments – from small molecules to cellular therapies
ABOUT THIS WEBINAR
The majority of clinically approved medicines are synthetic small molecules that modulate target activity, usually by inhibiting the function of a single protein. A fraction of these small molecule medicines exert their therapeutic effect by activating protein targets and disrupting protein-protein interactions. In contrast, biological drugs are relatively large and complex molecules which are generally made in genetically engineered cells that allow for variabilities in post-translation modifications which can give them an edge over biosimilars. With recent advances in medicine, cellular therapies are one step closer to becoming a reality where re-programmed cells, tissues and organs can be used as therapeutic agents.
During this webinar, a number of topics that relate to the discovery and development of therapeutics were covered:
- An overview of the pre-clinical milestones and the current status of the global drug pipeline and a description of a number of novel drugs undergoing clinical trials was presented.
- A case study drug discovery project that was successfully progressed from target identification through to drug approval was be illustrated by PCSK9, a novel cardiovascular disease target.
- Examples of experimental techniques that have been developed to accelerate, de-risk and identify off-target effects at an early stage in drug discovery were discussed. The use of such a broad range of experimental techniques has enabled the evaluation of novel cellular therapies such as re-programmed cells, tissues and organs as potential therapeutic agents.
Sheraz Gul, Head of Drug Discovery at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
Sheraz is Head of Drug Discovery at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology. In his role, he is responsible for the management and development of Assay Development and Medium and High Throughput Screening activities for partners across the world. He has 23 years’ experience in both academia (University of London) and industry (GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals). This has ranged from the detailed study of catalysis by biological catalysts (enzymes and catalytic antibodies) to the design and development of assays for High Throughput Screening for the major drug target classes. He is the co-author of numerous papers, chapters and the Enzyme Assays: Essential Data handbook.