Hit Discovery in the European Lead Factory: Output and experiences of Assay Development and High Throughput Screening

In a paper recently published in the SLAS Discovery Journal of Biomolecular Screening, European Lead Factory (ELF) scientists from Pivot Park Screening Centre (PPSC) shared their experiences working on the assay development and ultra-High Throughput Screening (u-HTS) of crowed-sourced drug targets during the first phase of ELF (2013-2018).

With a primary focus on the activities of PPSC, the perspective piece reflects on the lessons learnt during the assay development and u-HTS operations and the contributions of PPSC to ELF. It gives a detailed overview of the consortium and the results of the first phase, noting that between 2013 and 2018, 154 proposals in seven therapeutic areas were submitted to ELF with a total of 72 u-HTS campaigns completed.

Corresponding author of the paper, Saman Honarnejad said “this work gives a detailed perspective on the assay development and screening operations at PPSC, while illustrating how complimentary assets within public-private partnerships such as ELF consortium could operate as a well-oiled machine to translate basic research into novel starting points for drug development, with the aim to ultimately benefit public health”.

While the full impact of ELF is yet to be seen, the hit lists that were delivered during this first 5.5-year phase have produced a host of tangible results including lead compounds, candidate drugs, peer-reviewed publications, patents, new start-up companies, PhD theses, and more.

Senior author of the paper, Steven van Helden said “As a young and small company we are proud to play a leading role in early drug discovery in Europe as part of ELF. And we look forward to continue this work over the next few years. I am sure will report again on successes of our work in ELF !”

For an in-depth look into the work of PPSC and the overall experience of screening such a large portfolio of drug targets within the ELF Consortium.

Thank you for you interest!

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