Workshop on improved animal models for pharma R&D at the World Drug Targets Summit, July 2011


I will lead a workshop entitled “Developing Improved Animal Models in Oncology and CNS Diseases to Increase Drug Discovery and Development Capabilities” at the World Drug Targets Summit in Cambridge MA in July 2011.

Workshops will be held on July 19, and the main conference on July 20-21. I am planning to attend the entire conference.

Our workshop will be a discussion of 2-3 case studies involving development of novel animal models in oncology and CNS diseases, aimed at more closely modeling human disease than current models. Drug discovery and development in these therapeutic areas has been severely hampered by animal models that are  poorly predictive of efficacy. This is a major cause of clinical attrition in these areas.

We shall discuss the implications of these case studies for developing novel therapeutic strategies, target identification and validation, drug discovery, preclinical studies, and reducing clinical attrition. We shall also discuss hurdles to industry adoption of novel animal models developed in academic laboratories.

The main conference will focus on ways of building successful target strategies to minimize drug attrition in the clinic, and specifically how to identify and validate targets that can lead to commercially differentiated products. Speakers will include target discovery and validation leaders from such companies as Pfizer, Merck, NeurAxon, Gilead Sciences, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Schering Pharma AG, FORMA Therapeutics, Roche, Novartis, Tempero Pharmaceuticals, UCB Pharma, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, and from such academic institutions as Harvard Medical School.

The conference agenda and brochure, as well as online registration, are available on the conference website.

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