Part 1: CDD’s Tenth Anniversary Meeting Highlights
On Friday April 4th, CDD celebrated its tenth anniversary by hosting a community meeting at UCSF. From all of us at CDD, we want to give a great big “Thank you!” to everyone who participated. We appreciate all those who prioritized their time out to fly/drive/walk to the conference, to present, to sponsor the event, to participate in panels, to listen attentively, and to ask questions. WOW! We feel truly celebrated!
Collaboration is not just a buzzword at CDD – we practice it in all our internal work within the company, foster it between CDD Vault users, and rely on it for community-driven product development that has shaped the CDD Vault for the past ten years. So naturally, the theme of the meeting was centered on collaboration – what it means, how and when it works, and overcoming the major challenges to collaboration in the drug discovery space.
CDD’s own Kellan Gregory (Director of Product Management) and David Blondeau (Head of Software Development) shared the stage to talk about the history of the CDD Vault, the community-driven development process, and how our current product was shaped by input from dedicated users over the last ten years.
CDD’s avid users and supporters from all over the US have converged in the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center to share thought-provoking presentations with a larger audience, and to participate in passionate panel discussions.
Presenters came from different niches within the drug discovery ecosystem, ranging from academic screening centers in Fraser Glickman’s (Rockefeller University) presentation to kick-off the user meeting, to pharmaceutical companies highlighted in Leanna Staben’s (Genentech) talk on antibody drug conjugate informatics using the CDD Vault. The afternoon session included presentations on large non-profit consortia such as Jerry Shipp’s (TBDA) talk on the Gates Foundation Tuberculosis Drug Accelerator collaborations, and government programs presented by Martin John Rogers (NIAID). This blog post isn’t long enough to mention all of the wonderful presentations made throughout the day, but stay tuned; we will be posting more on each of the talks later on!
The “headliner” of the day was Chris Lipinski, of the “Lipinski Rule of 5”, who explored the two themes recurring throughout the day: innovation and collaboration within the drug discovery field. While each speaker focused on the innovative aspects of their work, the same problem has been plaguing the entire drug discovery industry for decades – finding new classes of compounds within the evolutionarily conserved biological space that has been explored many times over. Chris pointed out something inherent to the evolutionary and conservative nature of chemical biology – successful biologically active chemical motifs tend to be reused by many biological processes, therefore making it harder to look for novel chemistry outside of this space.
For those interested in other highlights of the meeting, including the exciting announcement of CDD Vision, a calculation and graphing extension to CDD Vault…please check out part 2 here.