SMi Group is proud to present its 2nd annual conference on Drug Discovery, taking place on 21st-22nd of March 2018 in Central London.

This conference will bring together key opinion leaders and senior industry experts to discuss the latest developments in drug discovery strategies. As the industry is experiencing radical changes in approaches to the discovery of new compounds, it is vital to look beyond to the next generation of enabling tools and technologies. This will assist rational, fast and successful drug discovery.

Drug Discovery 2018 provides an unprecedented opportunity to gain insight into the use of Artificial Intelligence in in silico drug discovery, as well as discussing 3D structure based-discovery, medicinal and discovery chemistry, translational medicine and the use of CRISPR cas-9 gene editing techniques and PROTAC's.

- Discover how leading pharmaceutical companies are incorporating Artificial Intelligence into their in silico drug discovery process!

- Gain insight into how CRISPR cas9 and PROTAC's are being utilised to discover new drugs.

- Learn about the latest methods of predicting drug kinetics and toxicity early on in the pre-clinical process to speed up the drug discovery process and increase the potential success of newly discovered drugs.

AbbVie; AstraZeneca; Biogen; Bio-Mimetic Chromatography Consultancy; Cisbio Bioassays; Cresset Group; Eli Lilly & Co; Galapagos NV; GlaxoSmithKline; GSK; H. Lundbeck A/S; Heptares Therapeutics; Janssen Pharmaceutica NV; leadXpro AG; Merck KGaA; MRC Technology; National Institute Of Advanced Industrial Science And Technology; NovAliX; Novartis; Nycomed Pharma Private Ltd; OpenEye Scientific Software; Polyphor Ltd; Proximagen Ltd; Sanofi-Aventis; Schrodinger ; Takeda; The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre; The Drug Discovery Unit, University of Dundee; The University Of Newcastle; TissUse GmbH; UCB Pharma Limited; Univ of Dundee; University College London; University Of Leeds; Vernalis Research Ltd;

Conference programme

8:30 Registration & Coffee

9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

Darren Green

Darren Green, Director of Computational Chemistry and Informatics, GSK

9:00 KEYNOTE ADDRESS Drug discovery: transforming success through innovation and collaboration

Steve Rees

Steve Rees, Vice-President, Screening Sciences and Sample Management at AstraZeneca, Astra Zeneca

• Application of the AstraZeneca 5R strategy for target selection
• Development of innovative capabilities for compound management and hit identification
• Transforming lead optimisation through the automation and miniaturisation of chemistry
• Developing a portfolio of diverse therapeutic modalities to enable any target to be prosecuted
• Innovative models of collaboration with pharma, vendor and academic partners

9:50 Artificially intelligent drug design

Gisbert  Schneider

Gisbert Schneider, Professor of Computer-assisted Drug Design, ETH Zürich

• De novo compound design in silico
• Target prediction and off-target profiling
• Automating drug discovery by machine learning

10:30 Morning Coffee

11:00 Transforming small molecule drug discovery using artificial intelligence

Andrew Hopkins

Andrew Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer, Exscientia

• Exscientia’s automated design process mimics human creativity by designing molecules which integrate the wealth of available data
• Discover how Exscientia’s AI is delivering pre-clinical candidates with exception productivity
• Learn how artificial intelligence and human expertise can be best combined to re-design the drug discovery process
• The potential of AI to increase the capital efficacy of R&D

11:40 Machine learning for smarter drug discovery

Claus Bendtsen

Claus Bendtsen, Executive Director/Sr Leader Data Science, AstraZeneca

• Advances in machine learning is now having a real impact on how drug discovery is done.
• Increase efficiency in early R&D through a deeper understanding of the quality of our predictions, together with the ability to integrate diverse sources of information to form accurate predictions.
• Learn how to make better decision on which experiments to perform
• Reduce costs by learning from our historical data
• Discover new biology through analytics

12:20 Networking Lunch

13:50 Session reserved for Alastair Lawson, Head of Antibody Biology, UCB Celltech

14:30 Strategies to inhibit the intracellular target Ras with potent antibody mimetic proteins

Ralph Minter

Ralph Minter, Director, Fellow, Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering, MedImmune

• Ras mutations are strong oncogenic drivers of many cancers but the target Ras is still not addressed by current therapies
• Using protein-based drugs to inhibit Ras is a novel approach
• We describe antibody mimetic proteins which block Ras by locking it in an inactive conformation
• These Ras inhibitory proteins enable us to explore the delivery of protein drugs into cells and study the biological implications of Ras inhibition

15:10 Afternoon Tea

15:40 SMN2 splicing modifiers for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. A journey 'from bench to bed’

Hasane Ratni

Hasane Ratni, Senior Principal Scientist, Roche Pharmaceuticals

• Discovery of the first tool molecules
• Optimization of their profile, potency, safety and pharmacodynamics
• Discovery of the clinical candidate
• Discussion of the unique mode of action of a small molecule interaction with mRNA
• Presentation of some clinical data

16:20 Encoded library technologies in drug discovery

Christoph Dumelin

Christoph Dumelin, Investigator III, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

• Overview of small and mid-size encoded library platforms at Novartis
• Application of encoded library technologies to drug discovery projects
• Discussion of 1-2 case studies

17:00 Innovative modalities and business in the lead generation strategy

Patrick Jimonet

Patrick Jimonet, External Innovation Drug Discovery, Sanofi-Aventis

• Limitation of current Hit finding strategies in a rapidly changing drug discovery environment
• Cyclic peptides, macrocycles: new modalities to drug challenging targets
• Examples of innovative business models, partnerships and crowdsourcing to enhance Lead Generation efficiency

17:40 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day One

8:30 Registration & Coffee

9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

Guido Hanauer

Guido Hanauer, CEO, GHPC GmbH

9:10 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Progress towards a contemporary medicinal chemistry technology toolkit

Stevan Djuric

Stevan Djuric, Vice President, AbbVie

• Reducing cycle times and costs whilst improving the probability of technical success in the Drug Discovery process
• Advances in the development and introduction of several new enabling chemistry technologies, including flow photochemistry
• Integrating synthesis, purification and bioassay platforms
• Developing heterocycle synthesis by using a high temperature chemistry flow reactor

9:50 Enabling Drug Discovery for Challenging Targets

Roderick  Hubbard

Roderick Hubbard, Senior Fellow, Vernalis Research Ltd

• Establishing feasibility – solving problems in protein production and assays
• Generating structural insight when x-ray crystallography is tough
• Illustrated with recent work on Mcl-1 and Bcl-2 (both now in Phase I trials)

10:30 Morning Coffee

11:00 Reaching previously unattainable protein targets through protein degradation with proteolysis targeting chimeric molecules (PROTACs)

John Harling

John Harling, Director of Chemistry for the Protein Degradation DPU, GSK

• Eliminating the presence of disease causing proteins.
• How the use of PROTACs is vastly expanding the library of reachable protein targets.
• Employing PROTAC for small molecule treatments and multiple disease targets.

11:40 Validating and invalidating targets, is CRISPR enough?

William Janzen

William Janzen, Executive Director, Lead Discovery, Epizyme

• The literature is full of misleading target validation references
• While a drug on the market is the ultimate validation of a target, there are biological and chemical steps along the way that lend credence to validation
• This talk will review and compare biological and chemical validation of targets

12:20 Networking Lunch

13:50 Applying multi-organ-on-a-chip technologies for predictive substance testing

Reyk Horland

Reyk Horland, Head of Business Development, TissUse GmbH

• Overview of the organ-on-a-chip landscape
• Introduction to Multi-Organ-on-a-chip solutions
• Case studies of industrial adoption of (Multi)-Organ-on-a-chip models
• Roadmap towards regulatory validation

14:30 Drug Discovery in 3-Dimensions. A novel micro-scaffold-based approach for screening purposes – advantages and pitfalls

Gary Allenby

Gary Allenby, Business Development Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Aurelia Bioscience

• We have developed a novel electrospun micro-scaffold based technology on to which we seed and grow recombinant cells, primary cell and differentiated stem cells
• These micro-scaffolds are magnetic, allowing each cell population to be manipulated in both culture tubes and assay plates. We have therefore use this approach to screen compounds in well plate based assays
• We will show data demonstrating the importance of 3-dimensional biology on micro-scaffolds used to generate a more physiological approach to testing compounds

15:10 Afternoon Tea

15:40 Open access chemical probes

Susanne Muller-Knapp

Susanne Muller-Knapp, Senior Project Manager Chemical Probes, Goethe University

• Chemical probes: essential tools in biology and target validation- the Epigenetic example
• Living a public-private partnership: the SGC tool box
• Boosting open access research: The Donated Chemical Probes program

16:20 High-quality chemical probes and drug discovery: a pharmaceutical industry perspective

Ursula Egner

Ursula Egner, Director Process Simulation and Design Collaboration, Bayer HealthCare

• The Bayer – SGC collaboration: Advancing drug discovery by open innovation
• Know your target: Chemical probes trigger a better preclinical understanding of target candidates
• The seeding effect of chemical probes: Discovery of new biology with Bayer’s SMYD2 probe BAY-598

17:00 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day Two




Copthorne Tara Hotel

Scarsdale Place, Kensington, London, United Kingdom

The Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington is an elegant contemporary four-star hotel in prestigious Kensington, located just a two minutes walk from High Street Kensington underground station, making exploring easy. The hotel offers well-appointed and comfortable guest rooms combining Standard, Superior and Club accommodation. Club rooms offer iconic views over the city and include Club Lounge access for complimentary breakfast and refreshments. Guests can sample the authentic Singaporean, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine at Bugis Street, traditional pub fare at the Brasserie Restaurant & Bar or relax with a delicious drink at West8 Cocktail Lounge & Bar.

The Copthorne Tara Hotel boasts 745 square meters of flexible meeting space, consisting of the Shannon Suite and the Liffey Suite, ideal for hosting conferences, weddings and social events. Facilities include access to the business centre 24 hours a day, fully equipped fitness room, gift shop, theatre desk and Bureau de Change. With ample onsite parking outside the London congestion charge zone and excellent transport links via Heathrow Airport, the hotel is the perfect location for business or leisure stays. The hotel is within close proximity to the shops of High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge and Westfield London, Olympia Conference Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park.



Media Partners

Pharmaceutical Technology


Pharmaceutical-technology.com is the only website focusing specifically on issues relevant to pharmaceutical professionals working with technology, be it development, engineering, IT or production. Pharmaceutical-technology.com brings you the latest in industry projects and updates, along with the news, views and trends that leading professionals – from senior executives to manufacturing managers and heads of procurement – require to stay on top of their field.



Pharmalicensing (www.pharmalicensing.com) is the premier biopharmaceutical Open Innovation resource designed for professionals involved with partnering, licensing and business development worldwide. Actively supporting all forms of partnering and in- and out-licensing activities, Pharmalicensing utilizes the unique Partnering Search service and its global network of industry experts to enable companies to identify and engage with appropriate partners around the world. Pharmalicensing, and its sister service Medical Device Licensing (www.medicaldevicelicensingcom) are actively utilized by over 200,000 industry professionals each month. Pharmalicensing is a division of IP Technology Exchange, Inc.

Medical News Today


Medical News Today is the largest independent medical and health news site on the web - with over 10,000,000 monthly unique users it is ranked number one for medical news on all major search engines. Medical News Today is used by pharmaceutical, biotech and health organizations, advertising agencies, PR companies and vertical ad networks to deliver targeted campaigns to HCPs, patients and caregivers. To find out how Medical News Today can help you to reach the right audience contact peter@medicalnewstoday.com or visit www.medicalnewstoday.com.



The RareBase Networking Portal links people and companies throughout the world with an interest in rare and paediatric diseases.



Labsave is the leading savings website for Laboratory Equipment and Lab Supplies. We work closely with the top suppliers in the world to bring you the best products at the most competitive prices. We are constantly striving to secure the biggest and most exclusive offers that you won’t find anywhere else! http://www.labsave.com/



PharmaCircle is an innovative knowledge management company serving the current and future global leaders in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology related industries. PharmaCircle is a one stop information and analysis source for pipeline, products, clinical trials, drug delivery technologies, deals and acquisitions, company financials, venture capital investments, product sales, pharmaceutical services, news, patents and more….



Absave.com is the leading savings website for Antibodies and Immunological Products. Search our extensive database of Antibodies, Kits, Proteins & Peptides, Reagents, etc. to find the best savings!



Farmavita Net is professional community and network of pharmaceutical licensing and business development executives, innovators and researchers
Farmavita.Net is the pharmaceutical licensing, technology transfer and regulatory affairs network. We are managing the marketplace of offers and demand for pharmaceutical Dossiers, know-how and technologies. Members of Farmavita.Net network usually find a number of attractive solutions for business development, alliances, joint ventures, co-development and co-marketing of pharmaceutical products. Farmavita.Net is not just a pure Internet portal. We manage a number of regional associates. We are connecting the dynamic network of few hundreds members / pharmaceutical companies interested in license-in and license-out opportunities.



SelectScience is an independent, online information resource for the worldwide scientific community, and the home of trusted information for laboratory scientists. Discover the latest drug discovery and development technologies, products and techniques with product reviews, videos, application notes and news articles. Become a member for free today.



Labiotech.eu is the leading digital media covering the European Biotech industry. It is used by over 55000 people monthly to keep a watch on the business and innovations of biotechnologies.

Technology Networks


Founded in 2000, Technology Networks is established as the leading news provider for life science and drug discovery professionals. In addition, we provide unique content including webcasts, videos, application notes and posters from recent conferences. Our portfolio now includes around 30 focussed scientific communities, all of which are accessible free of charge within TechnologyNetworks.com



Biosave.com brings together the best Life Science promotions, product releases, featured products, publications, videos and events from 100’s of leading Life Science suppliers. Updated 24 hours a day, Biosave is constantly uploading special promotions and exciting product news that you won’t find anywhere else. Our goal is to provide our users with the most exclusive product information to help reach that all important purchasing decision.

Drug Discovery Today


Drug Discovery Today is one of the most cited review journals in the field of drug discovery, with an impact factor of 6.422.
Drug Discovery Today will benefit your research by helping to keep you up-to-date with all of the fast-moving and emerging topics in drug discovery. Each issue is packed full of the latest research news, peer-reviewed articles and comment and opinion from leading research scientists.



PharmaVision offers a consultancy service providing independent pharmaceutical thematic research to the healthcare industry, the investment community and competitive intelligence specialists. We perform due diligence research and provide expert commentary in healthcare. Our reports combine scientific analysis in drug delivery, R&D technologies and pharmaceutical products including patient modelling, product/technology forecasts and market trends evaluation.

Swiss Biotech Association


The Swiss Biotech Association (SBA) is the national industry association for biotechnology, including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, agriculture, food, cosmetics, environmental biotechnology, and specialty chemicals. Members are companies active in modern biotechnology, such as R&D, Production, Marketing and Sales, Finance, Services and Consulting. SBA provides a networking platform for Life Science clusters, academic and federal institutions the like. Founded in March 1998, the Association grows steadily.

evvnt Ltd


evvnt enables people all over the world to fill their events utilising the most effective event listing sites on the web. Every minute, with little more than a click, more events and conferences appear in listings, in search engines and on mobile - discoverable by both category and location. With next to no effort customers of evvnt get better attendance, while consumers find events they previously had no idea existed. To date customers in 70 countries worldwide have submitted over 500,000 thousand event listings, created over 300,000 live links, and generated 1 million clicks to ticketing and registration pages. Learn more at www.evvnt.com

Drug Development Technology


Drugdevelopment-technology.com covers every aspect of the drug development and research process, from conception to pre-FDA approval. Our global network of journalists updates the site with the latest and most significant industry developments. This coverage allows us to provide everyone - from senior management through to research and QA staff – with in-depth reviews of the latest projects, advance notice of new product releases and analysis of the latest procedural and legislative developments.

Inderscience Publishers


Inderscience is a dynamic, leading, independent journal publisher. The company disseminates the latest research across the broad fields of science, engineering and technology; management, public and business administration; environment, ecological economics and sustainable development; computing, ICT and internet/web services, and related areas. Inderscience offers over 35 years' experience in publishing and has succeeded in building a substantial collection approaching 400 high-quality peer-reviewed international research journals in both online and print formats. We offer a variety of ways to keep up-to-date with the latest published leading-edge research while our online collection represents a fully-searchable digital archive of around 60,000 articles.



SciDoc is an Open Access publisher, aimed to facilitate the dissemination of research articles to the global community. SciDoc Publishers is established with a sole motive to disseminate knowledge among the scientific community. We as an Open Access publisher are on our way to be the world class leader in the provision of STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) Open Access content. This publishing model allows us to reach millions of readers and give them access to scientific publications- online, free of charge.



MedNous is a print publication and website about medical innovation in Europe. It carries exclusive interviews with companies that are at the forefront of medical technology, as well as contributor articles from prominent practitioners. Our mission is to identify significant advances in medicine and to explain how this innovation is being commercialised. In doing so, we talk to venture capitalists about what products and platforms they are supporting. We report on how regulators cope with the accelerating pace of innovation. And we regularly cover the latest developments in the discovery and development of new medical concepts in the area of antibodies, vaccines, small molecules, regenerative medicine and nanomedicines. MedNous combines the English word for medicine with the Greek word for intellect. And those with nous are readers of our publication. Visit our website: www.mednous.com


Outlook Calendar  OUTLOOK CALENDAR
Google Calendar  GOOGLE CALENDAR
Yahoo! Calendar  YAHOO! CALENDAR

Copthorne Tara Hotel

Scarsdale Place
London W8 5SR
United Kingdom

Copthorne Tara Hotel

The Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington is an elegant contemporary four-star hotel in prestigious Kensington, located just a two minutes walk from High Street Kensington underground station, making exploring easy. The hotel offers well-appointed and comfortable guest rooms combining Standard, Superior and Club accommodation. Club rooms offer iconic views over the city and include Club Lounge access for complimentary breakfast and refreshments. Guests can sample the authentic Singaporean, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine at Bugis Street, traditional pub fare at the Brasserie Restaurant & Bar or relax with a delicious drink at West8 Cocktail Lounge & Bar.

The Copthorne Tara Hotel boasts 745 square meters of flexible meeting space, consisting of the Shannon Suite and the Liffey Suite, ideal for hosting conferences, weddings and social events. Facilities include access to the business centre 24 hours a day, fully equipped fitness room, gift shop, theatre desk and Bureau de Change. With ample onsite parking outside the London congestion charge zone and excellent transport links via Heathrow Airport, the hotel is the perfect location for business or leisure stays. The hotel is within close proximity to the shops of High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge and Westfield London, Olympia Conference Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park.




speaker image






CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SMI Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

CPD Certificates

We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@smi-online.co.uk

Event Title


Read More

I would like to speak at an event

I would like to attend an event

I would like to sponsor/exhibit at an event


Sign up
Forgotten Password?


UK Office
Opening Hours: 9.00 - 17.30 (local time)
SMi Group Ltd, 1 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7XW, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7827 6000 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7827 6001
Website: http://www.smi-online.co.uk Email: events@smi-online.co.uk
Registered in England No: 3779287 VAT No: GB 976 2951 71

Forgotten Password

Please enter the email address you registered with. We will email you a new password.