Despite advances in technology and understanding of biological systems, drug discovery is still a long process with low rate of new therapeutic discovery. The CDD was establish to bridge the basic science discoveries to the clinic by 1) Identifying candidate molecular targets/compound, 2) Validating targets/compounds in pre-clinical studies and 3) Developing technologies to enhance the progress of each of the candidate molecules.
Inspired by its proven track record in delivering novel therapeutic agents, including the blockbuster drug Allegra® (fexofenadine), Georgetown University started a Center dedicated to the discovery and advancement of novel small molecule therapeutics, and to the training of tomorrow's leading biopharmaceutical researchers. For more than 20 years, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University has supported investigators identifying molecular targets for the treatment of cancer. We are now poised to translate these findings into novel drugs aimed at these targets across the academic Medical Center. We also have the capability to test the effectiveness of these drugs in clinical trials, and to patent and license successful drugs to endow and sustain future research. In short, we are in the position to complete the entire translational cycle that begins with basic research and ends in life-saving therapies for patients.
Academic institutions provide a nurturing environment for innovative thinking with the freedom to go after long-range and long-term goals with expanded impact on the future of medicine. There is an additional need for academia to participate in process of discovery because of overwhelming medical needs of underserved populations throughout the world which have not yet been addressed by industry. This freedom to achieve long-term goals places research in academic settings in the unique position of having the ability to achieve the greatest good where there is the greatest need.
The Georgetown University Center for Drug Discovery is set apart from other academic institutions and will allow our collaborating basic science and clinical researchers in oncology, neuroscience, biostatistics, and nanotechnology to develop novel therapies into Phase 1, which is the optimal point of entry for strategic industrial partnership. The Center for Drug Discovery is driven by multi-disciplinary research in this collaborative framework interlinking cutting edge basic science adapted from a world-leading clinical practice and experts in medicinal chemistry, Biological Sciences, Molecular Modeling and bioinformatics. (contributions by Allison Whitney)