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Small Molecule Drug Prototyping, Fall 2020

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The Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA) aims to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries at Stanford University into new therapeutics that impact human health. Identification of medicinally appropriate lead molecules and their subsequent engineering into Drug Prototypes are two major challenges in small molecule drug discovery. Through this RFP, the IMA is soliciting Letters of Intent (LOI) for projects that seek to identify new medicinal leads and/or engineer them into Drug Prototypes.

Competitive projects will have a strong therapeutic hypothesis, a novel biological target, and one or more bioactive small molecules as starting points. While compound(s) with proven activity in phenotypic (i.e., cell-based) assays are acceptable starting points, a compelling rationale must be provided linking the biological activity of the identified small molecule(s) to a druggable target.

Support Provided:

Selected projects will receive access to ChEM-H’s Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center (MCKC) to facilitate the engineering of a novel medicinal lead or drug prototype. If needed, projects will also receive access to the IMA’s Pharmacology module for in vitro and in vivo PK/PD analysis and for evaluating the efficacy of the most promising drug prototypes in a suitable disease model. PIs are generally expected to identify a student, postdoctoral fellow, or research associate who is fully familiar with the molecular and/or cellular assays needed to support the medicinal chemistry effort.

Selected projects will be supported for 6-24 months with critical go/no-go decision points defined for this project period. The specific level of support will vary by project need.

Selection Process:

A committee of faculty reviewers will identify the most meritorious LOIs based on the biological novelty, chemical innovation, and significance of the unmet medical need. PIs whose project ideas are selected will be invited to submit full proposals (including budgets); they will have the option of formulating these proposals independently or with the help of a senior staff member of the Knowledge Center. Final decisions on full proposals will be made by end-October.

Questions and Contact Info

Mark Smith, Ph.D.

Stanford ChEM-H Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center