LIMR Chemical Genomics Center, Inc. (LCGC) founder, president and CSO Melvin Reichman, PhD has co-written a paper for Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (NRDD), entitled “Opening the lead generation toolbox,” regarding the challenges of public/private partnering and pharmaceutical collaborations in early-stage drug discovery.
The search for effective new drugs can be long, unproductive, and quite expensive. To cut costs, large pharmas have been reducing their research efforts and looking elsewhere for novel targets or strong leads. That searching has pointed to academia, where there is a push towards translational research using high throughput screening (HTS), and to other pharmas with complementary assets, including lead-generating chemical libraries. However, barriers exist to these types of collaborations. Common points of contention are issues involving confidentiality and ownership of intellectual property, knowledge pertaining to lead compounds, and how the details are handled from a business development perspective.
In the NRDD review, Dr. Reichman and his colleague Dr. Peter B. Simpson, Director of Screening Sciences at AstraZeneca, UK, discuss several current collaborative models that address the sensitive issues of knowledge sharing, intellectual property (IP) rights, and commercial pursuits. Of note is the open innovation concept Double-Blinded Drug Discovery(DBD²)®, conceived and developed by Dr. Reichman. DBD² was designed to fully protect the IP of both parties while fostering cooperation to accelerate the process of targeted drug discovery and validation.
"Early-stage drug discovery is evolving into an endeavor in which scientific research communities in both the public and private sectors are finding new ways of achieving 'IP comfort' while sharing knowledge, expertise and resources," explains Dr. Reichman. "Unlocking those tools across various academic and business sectors has the potential to enable the scientific community to more rapidly validate innovative targets as druggable and reinvigorate translational research."
In addition to being the founder, president and CSO of LCGC, Dr. Reichman has recently been appointed President-Elect of the International Chemical Biology Society for the year 2014–15. He has a PhD in Neuroscience, and has held many leadership positions including with GD Searle, Berlex Biosciences, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, and DuPont. With over 20 years in the industry, Dr. Reichman has been an invited expert on all aspects of drug discovery at more than 50 events worldwide. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, has been a reviewer for many NIH study sections, and is an editor for several leading journals. A seasoned scientific advisor, Dr. Reichman lends his expertise to several start-up companies in the area of pharmaceutical research and development.