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By Annette Bak and Dhaval Shah

Annette BakDhaval Shah-finalTo improve efficiency while ensuring scientific quality of the drug candidates selected at the discovery-to-development interface, it is imperative that the discovery and preclinical disciplines collaborate on selecting a candidate with good probability of success in clinical development. Such a candidate will not just have superior preclinical efficacy but also suitable physicochemical and formulation properties, pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism, and toxicology profile. However, selecting the best candidate can be challenging and involve complex strategies.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is partnering with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) to co-develop a new webinar symposium focusing on drug design and delivery. The series will focus on the collaboration between discovery and preclinical disciplines, and is organized by Nicholas Meanwell (ACS), John Morrison (AAPS), and with strong contributions from the AAPS Drug Candidate Selection Focus Group.

This collaboration harnesses the strengths of both organizations, providing an excellent learning opportunity for everyone either involved with or interested in the drug discovery process. The series will be very useful for pharmaceutical scientists working in discovery, at the discovery-to-development interface, or in early development to understand and gain additional expertise in drug discovery and the process by which candidates (across a range of modalities) are selected. Attendees will be part of an in-depth examination of the challenges and strategies for designing, optimizing and evaluating drug candidates necessary for their transition into clinical testing. Key opinion leaders in the fields of medicinal chemistry, specialized delivery, pharmacokinetics, biotransformation, toxicology, and materials science will provide expert insights and answer audience questions.

The series is organized in a modular format, beginning with strategies for improving drug design efficiency and efficacy, and then moving along to activity/potency screening for optimization of lead candidates, strategies to better enable drug delivery, pharmacokinetics considerations, prodrugs, drug safety/toxicology and specialized drug delivery. The series will conclude with several examples from specific therapeutic areas encompassing and summarizing these themes.

The all-access webinars will generally broadcast on the final Thursday of each month at 2 pm EST throughout 2015 and 2016. Further information and a registration link can be found on the AAPS website.

We look forward to your attendance in the series, and please bring up any questions you may have in your response to this blog!

Annette Bak, Ph.D., is AAPS Annual Meeting Programming Committee Chair Elect. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Copenhagen, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Kansas.
Dhaval Shah, Ph.D., is an active member of AAPS-DCS focus group. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science and Drug Design from the Long Island University.