Core Facility Cluster Drug Development to support translational projects within the LOEWE center DRUID

The development of chemical compounds into drugs is a complex and time-consuming process before a substance can be used for the treatment of human disease.

A major focus of the LOEWE Centre DRUID is the development of drugs against neglected and poverty-associated tropical diseases. This development is generally carried out in the following sequential steps: 1. identification of initial inhibitors (so-called hits), 2. improvement of these substances in terms of their biological efficacy, 3. development of a lead structure that already has drug-typical properties (no acute toxicity, sufficient potency, etc.), 4. extensive testing of this substance for toxicity in model systems and analysis of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.

This is followed by the application of the substance(s) in animal models and finally production under GMP conditions (preclinical phase) and subsequent clinical trials.

Often, academic collaborations developing compounds get stuck at a very early concept stage due to a lack of coordinated guidance, appropriate technology centres and industry support to develop the first inhibitors identified into a promising drug.

In order to close this potential gap, a total of three research groups from the Universities of Marburg and Giessen have joined forces within DRUID to form a Core Facility Cluster Drug Development. This cluster consists of three service units (Core Facilities, CF), which represent the central steps of the early preclinical development process.

CF – Chemoinformatics & Molecular AI – Prof. Dr. Peter Kolb

Institut für Pharmazeutische Chemie
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Marbacher Weg 8
35032 Marburg
Tel.: +49 (0)6421-28 25908
Fax: +49 (0)6421-28 26652
E-Mail: peter.kolb(at)uni-marburg(dot)de

CF – Medicinal Chemistry – Prof. Dr. Wibke Diederich

Institut für Pharmazeutische Chemie
Zentrum für Tumor- und Immunbiologie
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Hans-Meerwein-Straße 3
35043 Marburg
Tel.: +49 (0)6421-28 25810
Fax: +49 (0)6421-28 26254
E-Mail: wibke.diederich(at)staff.uni-marburg(dot)de

CF – in vivo Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics – Prof. Dr. Joachim Geyer

Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Schubertstraße 81
35392 Gießen
Phone: +49 (0)641-99 38404
E-Mail: joachim.m.geyer(at)vetmed.uni-giessen(dot)de

The CFC Drug Development at the FCMH represents a unique platform in the academic field. The services offered are available to all DRUID projects in early preclinical development (no GLP services). In addition, the CFC contributes to the training of scientists in translational research and thus strengthens the professionalisation of the academic field and ultimately the link between industry and academia. In addition, the CFC enables research and translation in therapeutic areas that are traditionally of little interest to industry, such as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).