CDD Hosts an Exciting 3rd Annual UCSF Community Meeting on Oct. 1

Last Thursday, CDD held its 3rd Annual Community Meeting for Catalyzing Humanitarian and Commercial Research, at the J. David Gladstone Institutes at UCSF Mission Bay in San Francisco. With over 180 registrants as well as ten guest speakers and panelists, the event was an eye-opening exposé into the issues facing academics, non-profits, biotechs, and pharmas regarding data management and collaboration.

The meeting was kicked off by a training session led by Kellan Gregory, CDD’s Head of Community Interests. Kellan demonstrated new capabilities in the 3rd generation of the CDD web application (CDD3) that has just been released over the past weekend. These included mapping templates, simplification of data input, and a more elegant GUI.

Ken Duncan gives his talk

Ken Duncan talks TB

After Stephanie Robertson, PhD of UCSF welcomed everyone to the meeting, the first two speakers presented, focusing their talks around Tuberculosis research. Ken Duncan, PhD, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation indicated the need for a better understanding of Tuberculosis biology as well as developing novel imaging/genomic technology on the pre-clinical and clinical side. Takushi Kaneko, PhD, Senior Project Leader of Research from the TB Alliance outlined the challenges of Translational Research for a Foundation as well as how CDD was used to address these needs across multiple collaborations.

Andrea Altieri, PhD, from ASINEX highlighted novel compounds in CDD containing characteristics similar to natural products using 3D Frameworks. CDD’s own Moses Hohman, PhD, VP of Development then followed up on Kellan Gregory’s showcase of CDD3 from the development perspective, highlighting the process for implementing new features while ensuring a high level of quality by having four lines of automated tests for every one line of new code.

After a lunch break during which our poster presenters were given the opportunity to showcase their work, Sean Ekins, PhD (CDD Collaborations Director) chaired a Biotech Panel consisting of Marc Navre (Ardelyx), Ellen Berg (Bioseek), Christopher Silvia (Icagen), and Bard Geesaman (PharmSelex). The panelists stressed the importance of communication, collaboration, and blending technology and interpersonal skills in industry.

Chris Waller, PhD, gave a talk highlighting his role as Senior Director of Precompetitive Collaborations at Pfizer by speaking about the Pistoia Alliance, an initiative between the major pharmas to facilitate collaboration in precompetitive areas (such as establishing standards and partnerships as well as technology transfer). Tanya Parish, PhD, brought the audience back to TB research. Speaking as both the Acting Director of Drug Discovery for IDRI as well as a Professor of Mycobacteriology at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine in UK, she pointed out that as collaborations across the globe increased, sharing data becomes complex. As such, she discussed how CDD is helpful for tracking target validation as well as screening data.

Bringing it all together, with (L to R) Sean Ekins, Stephanie Robertson, Tanya Parish, Ken Duncan, Christopher Lipinski, Chris Waller

Bringing it all together, with (L to R) Sean Ekins, Stephanie Robertson, Tanya Parish, Ken Duncan, Christopher Lipinski, and Chris Waller

Christopher Lipinski, PhD, ex-Pfizer, Scientific Advisor to Melior Discovery as well as a member of CDD’s SAB, gave a provocative talk on the need for biological and chemical collaboration, illustrated by examples where “beautiful biology is ruined by bad chemistry.” He also showcased how these instances could be prevented through a system of alerts. These alerts, provided within the CDD software framework, would warn biologists working with compounds of the presence of chemistry related problems.

Barry Bunin demoed CDD3 live and presented a roadmap for the future of the CDD Platform (CDD VaultTM, CDD CollaborateTM, and CDD PublicTM) – which by its nature always improves with new features, collaborators, and data. He encouraged the audience to dream about new possible technologies and collaborators.

Finally, a second panel consisting of Sean Ekins, Stephanie Robertson, Tanya Parish, Ken Duncan, Christoper Lipinski, and Chris Waller convened and talked about the “what ifs” in the future of drug discovery, namely, if they could change one thing about the industry, what would that be? It was an exciting discussion, fairly showcasing the ups and downs in the drug discovery industry.

Congratulations to Sherida Johnson from the Burnham Institute for winning the best poster drawing, and Maruti Didwania from Stanford University for winning the evaluation form drawing!

At the end of the day, it truly was an honor for CDD to have such talented guests from every part of the drug discovery ecosystem. It was also great to have so many interested attendees share in this wonderful experience. We’ve enjoyed hosting these meetings immensely, and we plan on doing it again. See below for uploaded PDFs of approved slides from our speakers.

Sherida Johnson Celebrates her win with Christopher Lipinski. Rule of What?

Sherida Johnson celebrates her best poster win with Christopher Lipinski. Rule of What?

Here are links to approved PDF versions of the talks (they are large files, so don’t worry if it takes some time to open):

Barry Bunin, PhD (CDD)
Ken Duncan, PhD (BMGF)
Christopher Lipinski, PhD (ex-Pfizer, Melior Discovery)
Chris Waller, PhD (Pfizer)
Andrea Altieri, PhD (ASINEX) – to obtain the presentation made by Dr. Altieri, please e-mail him or his colleague Mark Parisi for details.

Below are links to two blogs to give additional perspectives on the meeting:

http://researchscorecard.com/blog/archives/262

http://leverageinnovation.com/wordpress/?p=14