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The COVID-19 Race: how mouse models will help researchers cross the finish line

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, have fuelled significant shifts in preclinical research across the globe. Amid the worldwide health emergency created by high infection rates, rapid transmission spread and relatively high mortality rates, researchers are under pressure to understand the disease’s pathogenesis, develop and test investigational therapeutics and explore […]

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Cryo-EM accelerates drug discovery by delivering previously intractable structural insights

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), a powerful biophysical technique that can analyse molecular assemblies, is changing the paradigm in structure-based drug design. As targets become more challenging, solving structures of drug target molecules or biologics becomes increasingly difficult. Cryo-EM empowers drug discovery teams to take advantage of rational drug design for many more major drug target classes, […]

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Optimising Phenotypic Screening – Single-cell analysis versus 3D multicell analysis

In light of the high failure rate of compounds when they are subjected to clinical testing, we are seeing a renaissance in phenotypic screening in drug discovery. However, most phenotypic screening is based on the use of cellular assays and here we debate the advantages and disadvantages of single-cell versus 3D multi-cell analyses. The phenotypic […]

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Creating Vaccines, drop by drop

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has highlighted the need for fast and efficient development and production of vaccines for a whole gamut of pathogens, old and new. Microfluidics technologies can be used to accelerate the vaccine development process in a number of ways, not least in the directed evolution of the strains and host organisms […]

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The Reality of Virtual Pharmaceutical Companies

In this episode, we discuss the oxymoronic proposition of a Virtual Pharmaceutical Company (VPC) and the typical adopted business model, as well as provide examples of such companies currently trying to undertake this adventurous task. The vagaries and complexities of bringing a therapeutic drug to market through the Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) process are […]

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Race To COVID-19 Cure – The Core Model for solving the pandemic crisis (Part 2)

Mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic requires a combination of effective epidemiological policies and the discovery/development of powerful drugs against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes this disease. This two part article series examines the major initiatives being explored at the public policy level to contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as […]

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Race To COVID-19 Cure – The Core Model for solving the pandemic crisis (Part 1)

Mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic requires a combination of effective epidemiological policies and the discovery/development of powerful drugs against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes this disease. This 2 part episode series examines the major initiatives being explored at the public policy level to contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as […]

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The COVID-19 antiviral race: we’re all in this together

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, international scientists from academia and industry have pooled their expertise and resources to identify candidate compounds that inhibit the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, in order to develop a clinically effective antiviral. The aptly named COVID-19 Moonshot aims to accomplish this task more rapidly than has historically been […]

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Using Live-Cell Imaging Systems to Transform Perspectives in Drug Discovery

Live-cell imaging has transformed the study of cell behaviour and function. The technique allows researchers to monitor internal cell structures, interactions and processes in real-time, and over time. In drug discovery, understanding the dynamic processes of cells provides an enhanced picture of drug pharmacology, enabling more reliable predictions of clinical responses earlier in the process. […]

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Fail Early, Fail Fast – A phenotypic rescue approach

New disease targets frequently emerge in literature, but the thorough target validation required to consider these targets for a drug discovery programme is often lacking. In pharmacological or genetic perturbation studies using complex biological assays, undesired off-target effects cannot be easily distinguished from the intended mode of action at the desired target. This is especially […]

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