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


The time for the July 2011 World Drug Targets Summit in Cambridge MA is looming closer and closer! Registration for the conference is still open, however.

I will lead a workshop entitled “Developing Improved Animal Models in Oncology and CNS Diseases to Increase Drug Discovery and Development Capabilities” at the Summit on July 19.  A workshop on addressing kinase signaling in drug discovery and development will take place later that day. The main conference follows on July 20-21. I am planning to attend the entire conference.

Our workshop will be a discussion of four 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.

There will be one case study on a zebrafish cancer model, two on mouse cancer models, and one on a mouse CNS disease model. The case studies will include applications of these animal models to understanding disease biology, developing new therapeutic strategies, overcoming resistance to breakthrough targeted cancer therapeutics, and identifying drug candidates and advancing them into the clinic.

The main conference will focus on developing improved target discovery and validation strategies that are capable of meeting the challenges of drug discovery and development in the early 21st century–minimizing drug attrition in the clinic, and delivering commercially differentiated products that address unmet medical needs to the market. Speakers will include target discovery and validation leaders from leading pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and academic institutions.

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