Phenomics Discovery Initiative expands portfolio to new disease areas, translating the best biology into novel therapeutics

From Drug Discovery Today - March 8, 2018

PDi is a public-private consortium joining the pharmaceutical industry and the National Phenotypic Screening Centre (NPSC). This expansion of its assay portfolio confirmsitsability to source and deliver a cutting-edge phenotypic screening pipeline that addresses high-profile disease areastomeetpharmaceutical industryneeds for developing novel therapeutics.

Since June 2016, the consortium has demonstrated it can build a strong portfolio of novel and complex cell-based assays that are openly crowdsourced from the global scientific community. Key to the success of the operation is the process of broad project recruitment via a simple application process, combined with agile project selection and collaborative Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) designed to benefit all partners.

PDi relies on top-down and bottom-up approaches for efficient and geographically-extensive project recruitment to create the best programme portfolio. Assays are selected by the PDi scientific committee, balancing selection criteria such as scientific excellence, proximity to disease state, translational potential, commercial relevance and collaboration partner quality.

The NPSC will develop and implement the phenotypic screens against high-quality compound collections from industry to provide new therapeutic starting points with higher chances of clinical efficacy than those derived from traditional biochemical screening approaches.

Professor Neil Carragher, University of Edinburgh and Chief Scientific Officer for the PDi, said, After two very successful rounds of project selections, we are confident we can meet our industry partners needs in terms of the quality and quantity of disease-relevant phenotypic assays. Since mid-2016 we have fine-tuned our operations, allowing us to build complex cell-based assays from innovative biology that we have crowdsourced from academic labs, clinicians, and subject matter experts. Our assay development teams have successfully developed this novel biology into screenable protocols that can be applied in multiparametric high content assays and carried out in high throughput formats.

The following five assays from PDis second round of selections have been prioritised for development and compound library screening:

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