Bayer HealthCare initiates new international consortium of pharmaceutical companies, small and medium enterprises and academics to create compound library.
The newly founded pan-european consortium, named the Pan-European Lead Factory, was recently launched by Bayer Health Care (Germany) to enhance drug discovery and address the need for novel targets. The project is a public – private partnership supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, with a total budget of €196 million.
The European Lead Factory consists of 30 international partners across industry, academia and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The partnership has been initiated for the next 5 years, with academic institutions and SMEs hoping for a sustainable role in drug discovery and the growth of development after the project’s initial funding period. €80 million of the funding will come from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research. €91 million is provided as in-kind contributions from participating EFPIA companies, whilst the remaining €25 million comes from the non-EFPIA participants.
The 5-year project has been designed to create a small-molecule library that will allow for drug companies and academia to collaborate on target identification. As members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries, Bayer and six other pharmaceutical companies are set to collectively contribute 300,000 substances towards the early drug discovery initiative.
Bayer expects that a library of 200,000 compounds will result from its collaboration with academia and SMEs. Up to half a million compounds may be accessible to both project partners and the SMEs that are invited to develop targets for screening, as part of the new joint European Compound Collection. The proposed consortium will use facilities such as high-throughput screening and compound logistics based at sites in Scotland and The Netherlands.
According to Hanno Wilde, senior Vice President and head of candidate generation and exploration at Bayer HealthCare Global Drug Discovery, “The European Lead Factory is an outstanding example of a project in which public – private partnerships enable collaborative drug discovery. The platform brings together academia and industry as well as SMEs in a unique partnership aiming to discover innovative medicines.”
Michel Goldman, Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative holds the view that, “This project will not only advance the chances of success in the discovery of new medicines by European researchers, but also add value by building research capacity in Europe.”