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Cambridge MedChem Consulting

European Lead Factory

I’m delighted to see the announcement about the European Lead Factory, hopefully this will be a huge asset for Drug Discovery.

Two sites shuttered by the pharmaceutical giant Merck, one in Scotland and one in the Netherlands, will soon be humming again with the work of drug discovery. But the hum will not be business as usual. It will be the sound of a public–private consortium placing a high-stakes wager: a nearly €200-million (US$271-million) bet that it can boost a languishing pharmaceutical sector by fusing academic innovation with industrial-scale screening, using robots to test chemicals for biological activity….Any academic group or company can also propose assays to test molecules in the library for biological activity. Lead-factory scientists will run these assays free of charge and confirm any promising results, working mainly in laboratory space closed by Merck in 2011 at Oss in the Netherlands. Follow-up work will be done at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Results will be provided confidentially to the groups that proposed the assays so that they can pursue further work and publications.