A Structured Approach to Achieve Shorter Drug Discovery Cycletimes

Sponsored by: Syngene International Limited

Focused on:

  • Biotech
  • Drug Discovery
  • Reducing Cycletimes

Date: 23 May


Time: 3PM London/10AM New York

A multipronged strategy for optimization (and survival)

Biotechs have limited funding, and their investors must regularly be shown constant tangible project progress in the Drug Discovery phase. Biotechs whose projects lag, have their funding-and future-at risk. Likewise, large pharma must continually re-prioritize its portfolio of Discovery projects, and those that progress fastest typically have the best chance for survival. One irony of the entire drug discovery process is that despite the introduction of (or maybe because of) new “enabling” technologies across biology, chemistry, and computational sciences the average cycletimes of drug discovery projects from target identification to candidate selection has remained relatively static over the years, rather than becoming shorter. Yet some Discovery projects progress faster than others, and a number of factors for reducing cycletime are well within the control of the project investigators. What are these strategies?

Whether working completely internally or outsourcing part or all of a drug discovery project to one or multiple CROs, several logistical factors directly influence cycletimes. These include chemical and biology-related starting material and reagent procurement strategies, and strategies for transferring samples for testing across functional and geographic areas.

Another set of factors, more philosophic but yet vital to consider, has to do with how aggressively drug discovery projects are run. Taking shortcuts, such as omitting certain assays, or running multiple assays or tasks at risk in parallel can either alternately doom a project or accelerate it toward a positive outcome. There is knowledge and experience to bias the outcome toward the latter. Additionally, the number of experimental test samples prepared--eg, analogs synthesized for small molecule drug discovery projects) and how they are prepared has a huge influence on overall project cycletime and often projects prepare too many analogs, and/or use overly labor-intensive syntheses.

This webinar will discuss the multiple, sometimes interconnected, strategies for reducing cycletimes for drug discovery projects and how you can implement such strategies in a practical way.

Presented by

Gregory Bisacchi Ph.D,

Global Head - Integrated Drug Discovery

Gregory holds Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles and did his postdoctoral work in Organic Synthesis at Stanford University. He has over 20 years of experience in the area of chemistry and has held key positions at various global organizations including AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb. At BMS, Greg led projects in the development of the anti- hepatitis B virus nucleoside analog entecavir, launched in 2004 under the trade name Baraclude. He has authored or co- authored more than 40 peer reviewed chemistry and medicinal chemistry journals, articles and book chapters, and is inventor on 37 patents. Prior to joining Syngene in 2015, Greg worked with AstraZeneca as Associate Director.

Key Learning Objectives

  • Why cycletime reduction is vital to the outcome of drug discovery projects
  • Factors under the control of the investigators that lead to reduced cycletimes
  • Implementation of strategies to reduce project cycletime


  • CSO
  • Head of R&D
  • Head/Director of Discovery
  • Head/Director of Chemistry
  • Head/Director of Medicinal Chemistry
  • Head/Director of Procurement (R&D and/or Research)
  • Head/Director of External Partnerships (R&D and/or Research)
  • Head/Director of External Alliances (R&D and/or Research)
  • Head/Director of Outsourcing (R&D and/or Research)
  • Head/Director of DMPK
  • Head/Director of Biology
  • PhD level Senior scientists in chemistry
  • PhD level Senior scientists in medicinal chemistry
  • PhD level Senior scientists in biology and DMPK