Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and the Mayo Clinic signed a new collaborative agreement to build a pipeline of therapeutic drugs aimed at a variety of diseases with serious unmet medical needs.
Mayo Clinic scientists will work with researchers in Sanford-Burnham's Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics to conduct early-stage drug discovery, including assay development, high-throughput screening and lead identification. Sanford-Burnham, an independent research institute, is recognized for establishing novel collaborations with clinical organizations to expedite early-phase drug discovery.
The agreement combines Mayo Clinic's clinically relevant targets with Sanford-Burnham's discovery platform in a translational initiative aimed at advancing a portfolio of projects through the initial stages of drug discovery. The new agreement builds on a year-long pilot phase and expands the number and scope of drug discovery projects derived from Mayo Clinic researchers that are being conducted at Sanford-Burnham.
"We're looking forward to further engaging with our Mayo Clinic collaborators as we develop innovative screens to identify chemical compounds that modulate the activity of clinically relevant targets," said Michael Jackson, PhD, vice president of drug discovery and development at Sanford-Burnham. "If successful, these compounds will form the basis of completely novel—'first in class'—therapies for devastating diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and others."
In Sanford-Burnham's Prebys Center, Jackson and a team of researchers—many of them recruited from the pharmaceutical industry—use state-of-the-art, ultra-high throughput screening systems to sift through the Institute's compound library, recognized as one of the largest collections in the nonprofit research community.
"The Mayo Clinic-Sanford-Burnham collaboration provides an avenue for Mayo scientists to rapidly translate basic science discoveries into screening platforms that will enable new drug discovery, and a new paradigm in drug development," said Andrew Badley, MD, associate dean of research resources at Mayo Clinic.
Kristiina Vuori, MD, PhD, Sanford-Burnham's president and interim CEO, added, "This collaborative model provides interactions between researchers with deep expertise in drug discovery technologies, basic research scientists and clinical scientists that will expedite the drug discovery process and offer a clinical outlet for testing potential new drugs."