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European Lead Factory - A Major New Drug Discovery Initiative

Published: Monday, January 27, 2014
Last Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014
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The European Lead Factory is the first of its kind and will provide a novel platform for innovative drug discovery.

Titian Software announces that its Mosaic software is to play a central role in compound library screening for a major new European drug discovery initiative, the European Lead Factory (ELF).  Following a successful bid to the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), over 8.7m euros has been invested by BioCity Scotland (BCS) to establish a compound management facility at Newhouse Scotland, and selected Titian’s Mosaic sample management software for streamlining compound operations.   

BioCity Scotland has created a life sciences hub at Newhouse Scotland in the former Organon/Shering Plough/MSD site close to the busy M8 corridor, which offers highly equipped chemistry laboratories to small and medium sized businesses along with offices and other business premises for hire.  A major part of this centre is the revived compound management centre, in which the Mosaic software had previously been deployed. 

BioCity Scotland was founded in 2012 and is owned 75% by BioCity Nottingham Ltd and 25% owned by Roslin Biocentre Ltd. It operates the former Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) research facilities at Newhouse. It acquired the Automated Compound Store (ACS) and recruited highly skilled scientists and technicians who built and managed the facility since it was first established by Organon Laboratories in 2006.  The site has been re-commissioned to provide the ACS facilities for the European Lead Factory. BCS is the centre of excellence for the compound management activities and is responsible for the collection, storage, distribution, HTS logistics and tracking of the EU Lead Factory Compound Collection.

The European Lead Factory is a novel platform for innovative drug discovery and is owned by a 30 partner consortium, the first of its kind. With the support of the IMI, it creates unprecedented opportunities for the discovery of new medicines by providing public partners with an industry like discovery platform to translate cutting edge academic research into high quality drug lead molecules on a scale and speed that was not possible previously.

Pharmaceutical companies have vast libraries of compounds which can be screened in the hunt for potential medicines. But usually, access to these compound libraries is highly restricted.  As part of the European Lead Factory, the 7 participating pharmaceutical companies will contribute at least 300,000 chemical compounds from their corporate chemical collections. A library of an estimated additional 200,000 novel compounds will be developed jointly by academia and SMEs. Together the two libraries will form a Joint European Collection consisting of up to half a million compounds that will be accessible to all project partners and to public organisations offering promising new targets for drug discovery screening. 

With Mosaic’s proven performance and efficiency, BioCity has chosen Titians Mosaic software to ensure the high performance of its compound management operations for the ELF. 

Dr Sylviane Boucharens, director of Discovery Operations says: ”We are excited to have been selected to provide Compound Management for the ELF consortium as part of the new IMI project. This is a great opportunity to get the most out our facility  the former Organon/Schering-Plough/MSD research site) at  Newhouse and its highly-skilled team of scientists who are the former MSD staff who have demonstrated vision and drive in reviving the automated compound store.

We selected Titian’s Mosaic Compound Management software as part of this process and have found it to be an effective and efficient solution. We look forward to working with Titian moving forward, and have no doubt that will enhance our ability to deliver positive outcomes throughout the course of this project.“

Titian CEO Edmund Wilson said: “We are delighted to see the revival of the extensive automated storage facility at Newhouse. That BioCity Scotland has chosen to re-implement Mosaic as its sample management system, reflects its success and reputation in the management of extensive and highly valuable compound libraries, and we are excited that Mosaic will play such an important role in this new chapter of European drug discovery.”

The go-to solution for automated sample management within the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, Titian’s Mosaic software suite provides optimised storage, tracking and ordering of a range of samples including small molecule compounds.  The highly flexible and modular software can be easily tailored for site specific workflows.  Integration with third party IT systems, existing infrastructure and an extensive range of automated instrumentation is also enabled, streamlining the workflow.


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