2019 Regional Academic Drug Discovery Agenda

Program Highlights

Check back for updates as the event approaches.


2019 Keynote

Barry R. O'Keefe, Ph.D.  Acting Chief, Molecular Targets Program  Center for Cancer Research  Chief, Natural Products Branch, Developmental Therapeutics Program  Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis  National Ca

Barry R. O'Keefe, Ph.D.
Acting Chief, Molecular Targets Program, Center for Cancer Research
Chief, Natural Products Branch, Developmental Therapeutics Program. Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
National Cancer Institute

Natural Product-based Drug Discovery: Why, How and Is Now the Time?

The US National Cancer Institute’s Natural Product Extract Repository

Natural products have a proven track record in use as anti-cancer and anti-infective agents. As of 2014 natural products (NP), NP pharmacophores, and NP mimics represented more than 50 percent of small molecule-based anti-cancer and anti-microbial drugs. However, accessing the potential of NPs in high-throughput screening (HTS) campaigns has been challenging due to the complexity of the crude NP extracts, the time necessary for follow-up isolation efforts, and indefinite capabilities for large-scale resupply. This has resulted in NP-based libraries being significantly underrepresented in most recent large-scale HTS programs.

The US National Cancer Institute’s Natural Product Extract Repository is one of the world’s largest, most diverse collections of natural products containing over 230,000 unique extracts derived from plant, marine and microbial organisms. To address the challenges in screening NPs and encourage increased assay of NP chemical diversity, we have initiated the NCI Program for Natural Product Discovery (NPNPD) which has developed an automated, high-throughput robotics platform capable of generating a library of >1,000,000 partially purified extracts for screening. In addition, automated secondary purification and structure elucidation platforms have been created that significantly decrease costs and timelines. This presentation will discuss the reasons for, challenges to, and mechanisms by which to increase the pace and efficiency of NP-based drug discovery.

National Cancer Institute Natural Products Repository


Fireside Chats with Academic Spin-Outs

Kayothera and Manzara


Scientific Case Studies


Business Panel Discussion

Featuring Daiichi Sankyo, Celgene, MPM Capital and BridgeBio


Poster Session


Networking Opportunities Throughout the Day


Lunch Provided