To discuss the key challenges uniting all modalities against intractable targets. Providing a forum for experts to discuss the latest developments in the field.
Presentations from world leaders, curated case-studies and interactive panel discussions. Explore the latest research and discover how challenges are being met.
Take your pick from the many sessions to create a personalised agenda that fits with your day. The most flexible and speedy way to bring yourself up to date with all things ‘undruggable’
“Finally, an entire meeting dedicated to the ‘undruggable’ – the holy grail for pharma aficionados“
“The landscape for undruggable targets is changing faster than ever, and this event is a great opportunity to come together with other leading scientists and tackle the issue from multiple angles”
“A fantastic deep-dive into the issues and solutions for what have been called undruggable targets. The discussions and presentations helped me formulate solutions for my own projects.”
Harren Jhoti co-founded Astex in 1999 and was Chief Scientific Officer until November 2007 when he was appointed Chief Executive Officer. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018, the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016, and of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015. In January 2018 he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA). He received the Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery from the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry in 2012 and was also named by the Royal Society of Chemistry as “Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year” for 2007.
He has published widely including in leading journals such as Nature and Science, and has also been featured in TIME magazine after being named by the World Economic Forum a Technology Pioneer in 2005. He has served on the board of the BIA, the UK BioIndustry Association and currently consults for life science venture capital firms. Before founding Astex in 1999, he was head of Structural Biology and Bioinformatics at GlaxoWellcome in the United Kingdom (1991-1999). Prior to Glaxo, Dr. Jhoti was a post-doctoral scientist at Oxford University. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biochemistry in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Protein Crystallography from the University of London in 1989.
Alessio Ciulli holds the Personal Chair of Chemical Structural Biology at the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. Research in his laboratory focuses on developing small molecules inducing protein degradation and targeting protein-protein interactions. He is the scientific founder of Amphista therapeutics, a biotech company spin-out of his Dundee laboratory that develops new protein degradation platforms.
Alessio graduated Magna Cum Laude in Chemistry from the University of Florence in 2002. His final year Laurea project was in computational drug design and NMR spectroscopy of matrix zinc metalloproteases with the late Ivano Bertini at the Magnetic Resonance Center (CERM).
In 2002 he was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at Cambridge. His PhD research, under the supervision of Chris Abell and in collaboration with Glyn Williams’s biophysics team at Astex Pharmaceuticals, concerned with biophysical and structural studies of protein-ligand interactions and enzyme mechanism.
In 2006 he was awarded a College Research Fellowship to conduct post-doctoral research on biophysical fragment screening and fragment-based drug design, within the framework of two international consortia to develop new drugs against tuberculosis funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Union FP6, jointly directed by Chris Abell and Tom Blundell. A short Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Fellowship allowed Alessio to visit Yale University in February 2009 and initiate collaboration with Craig Crews on structure-based design of small molecule inducers of intracellular protein degradation (PROTACs) targeting the von Hippel-Lindau protein (VHL). He returned to Cambridge in June 2009 to start his independent research career as a BBSRC David Phillips Fellow within the Department of Chemistry.
In 2013 Alessio was awarded an ERC Starting Grant and moved his laboratory to Dundee where he took up a Readership (Associate Professorship) in Chemical & Structural Biology as Principal Investigator within the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery of the School of Life Sciences. He was promoted to Professor (Chair) in October 2016.
Shalini is currently Head of Oligonucleotide Discovery and Chief Scientist New Modalities in BioPharmaceuticals.
Shalini has also the strategic responsibility for explorative activities and build of capabilities in the new therapeutic modalities area. Shalini has broad experience in Pharmaceutical research as well as of strategic and management roles and drives several collaborations with external partners and academic groups across the globe.
Prior to this role, Shalini held several leadership roles within Cardiovascular, renal and metabolism. Shalini received her PhD in 1989 at the University of Linköping, Sweden and has held various research and teaching positions at the University of Linköping prior to moving to industry. She is the author or co author of over 45 peer reviewed articles, 2 book chapters and 4 patents.
Georg Winter, PhD, obtained his degree from the Medical University of Vienna, working on elucidating the mechanism of action of anti-neoplastic drugs under the supervision of Prof. Giulio Superti-Furga. He specialized on proteomics- as well as chemical genetics approaches to identify drug resistance mechanisms and synergistic drug combinations. He continued his training in chemical biology, working as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. James Bradner the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School. Supported by an EMBO fellowship, he innovated the first generalizable pharmacologic solution to in vivo target protein degradation (Winter et al., Science 2015). He was recruited as a CeMM Principal Investigator in June 2016 where his research is now focused on using the unique molecular pharmacology of targeted protein degradation to understand and disrupt fundamental principles of transcription and gene control aberrantly regulated in human cancers. Georg Winter (co-) authored 35 manuscripts including publications in Science, Nature, Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Genetics, Elife and Molecular Cell. His interdisciplinary research lab consists of 6 Postdocs, 4 graduate students and 3 technical assistants trained in molecular biology, organic chemistry and computational biology, and is supported by several national and international grants and fellowships including an ERC Starting Grant. Dr. Winter’s contribution to the field of targeted protein degradation was acknowledged via multiple prices and awards, including the prestigious Eppendorf Award 2019 and the Elisabeth Lutz Award of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Annemieke Aartsma-Rus is professor of translational genetics at the department of human genetics at the LUMC. She has a visiting professorship at the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Center at the Institute of Genetic Medicine of the Newcastle University (UK).
In 2014 Annemieke Aartsma-Rus was accepted in the Jonge Akademie (the junior section of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences, consisting of the 50 most prominent scientists of under 45). In 2009 she received a prestigious VIDI grant. In 2011 she received the Duchenne Award for her work and dedication in the Duchenne field.
In 2016 and 2017 she was elected as the most influential scientist in the field of Duchenne muscular dystrophy based on publications of the past 10 year by Expertscape.
Prof. Dr. Annemieke Aartsma-Rus played an important role in the development of antisense-mediated exon skipping therapy for Duchenne muscular dystorphy during her PhD research (2000-4) at the Department of Human Genetics of the LUMC. She obtained her PhD on February 10 2005. In 2007 she became group leader of the Duchenne exon skipping group, first as assistant professor, in 2010 as associate professor and since 2015 as a full professor. Her inaugural lecture was spoken on June 17 2016 and was titled “Lost in translation when transitioning from fundamental to applied research”.
Since 2013 Prof Aartsma-Rus holds a visiting professorship at Newcastle University (UK).
Prof. Dr. Aartsma-Rus has published more than 140 scientific publications. In 2016 and 2017 she was selected by Expertscape as the most influential scientist in the Duchenne field, based on contributions of the past 10 years. She is also involved in networking efforts and multilateral education of the stakeholders involved in therapy development (academics, regulators and patients) through workshops and training schools.
Nick Keen, Ph.D., is chief scientific officer of Bicycle Therapeutics. He joined Bicycle from Novartis, where for the past five years he served as the Cambridge (U.S.) head of oncology research. During his tenure at Novartis, Nick was responsible for leading research from basic target identification and drug discovery through to enabling early clinical trials. Under his leadership, the group delivered multiple new therapies to the clinic, spanning the range from novel allosteric small molecule inhibitors of previously intractable targets to advanced biologic therapies. Nick’s team was also responsible for publishing many basic discoveries in cancer biology and for building industry leading platforms in whole genome scale target identification and in modeling the diversity of human clinical trials in mice.
Prior to his time at Novartis, Nick led the early lead generation group for oncology at AstraZeneca’s U.S. research site, with a particular focus on epigenetic regulation, and prior to this, held positions of increasing responsibility in AstraZeneca’s U.K. oncology research group. During his time at AstraZeneca, Nick delivered multiple agents to the clinic and was instrumental in the acquisition of KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, leading to the registration of Olaparib (a first in class PARP inhibitor) for the treatment of BRCA mutant cancers.
Nick completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge in natural sciences, his graduate studies with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Cambridge (now merged with The Cancer Research Campaign to form Cancer Research UK) and his post-doctoral studies at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.
Nigel Crockett, Ph.D., is chief business officer of Bicycle Therapeutics.
Nigel joined Bicycle Therapeutics from Tukan Partners Ltd., which he founded as a consultancy providing hands-on, transactional, commercial expertise for a broad range of biotech clientsfrom around the world. Prior to founding Tukan Partners, Nigel was a member of the management team at Astex, completing 14 deals for the company. Previously, Nigel held commercial and senior management roles at several pharma-biotech companies, including Heptares (now Sosei-Heptares), Microbiotica, Crescendo Biologics, NodThera, Clinical Designs Ltd. and Cantab Pharmaceuticals. In more than 25 years, he built expertise in the licensing of early- and late-stage clinical assets and company financing and has completed more than 50 major deals, establishing industry-leading strategic collaborations in a multitude of key therapeutic areas.He previously chaired the U.K.’s BioIndustry Association, Business Development Working Group.
Nigel received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Manchester and obtained a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Cambridge University.
Els Beirnaert, PhD, brings along 18 years of experience in drug development, venture and business development. Previously she was one of the start-up pioneers of Ablynx leading multidisciplinary project teams and translating drug development projects from discovery to pre-clinical development to clinical development (phase 1 and phase 2a). She was Head of New Ventures at VIB responsible for the establishment of start-up/spin-out companies in life sciences. She served in the board of directors of Confo Therapeutics, Q-Biologicals and Multiplicom. Dr. Beirnaert obtained a Master in Biotechnology at the University of Ghent and a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Antwerp.
Stewart joined C4 Therapeutics in May 2016 and is the Chief Scientific Officer overseeing the research organization. Prior to joining C4 Therapeutics, Stew held senior leadership roles at the Broad Institute and previously spent fifteen years at AstraZeneca in roles of increasing responsibility across target validation, drug discovery, and clinical candidate support. Stew started his career at Hoffmann-La Roche after completing an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Stew holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Vermont.
Mads Aaboe Jensen is currently External Innovation Officer, Therapeutic Modalities – Pharma Research and Early Development at Roche. He is responsible for strategic assessment of external opportunities related to RNA and nucleic acid based therapies. Prior to this, Mads was senior principal scientist and group leader, and helped build a team focused on early drug discovery and undruggable targets using antisense therapeutics at Roche. He has over 10 years of drug discovery experience, and led teams responsible for more than seven pre-clinical and novel drug technology projects.
Prior to Roche, Mads was project leader at Santaris Pharma A/S, working to progress partnered drug discovery programs within rare genetic CNS disorders using antisense technology. Previously, Mads was a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he worked with Professor Adrian Krainer on RNA splicing and antisense technology. Mads is co-inventor on more than 10 patents and co-author on more than 10 scientific publications. Mads holds a MSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Aarhus and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Aarhus. He also holds an executive CBL from Henley Business School, University of Reading.
Professor Itzhaki has over 20 years’ experience in leading academic research in the field of protein structure and engineering, including protein stability and folding, tandem-repeat proteins and structural biology of the ubiquitin proteasome pathways. Professor Itzhaki has a BA in Chemistry, University of Oxford, and PhD in Biochemistry, University of Cambridge.
Dr. Punit P. Seth heads medicinal chemistry and targeted delivery at Ionis Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Seth is co-inventor of Ionis’ Gen 2.5 platform which employs high affinity nucleoside modifications to enhance the affinity, stability and potency of ASOs in the liver and in extra-hepatic tissues. He is also the co-inventor of Ionis’ LICA (ligand conjugated antisense oligonucleotides) platform which enhances ASO potency by targeted delivery to cells and tissues of interest. He has extensive experience with using medicinal chemistry strategies to modulate the activity, pharmacokinetic and toxicological properties of oligonucleotide drugs. Dr. Seth is listed as co-author/co-inventor on close to 200 peer-reviewed publications, issued patents and patent applications. He has a Ph.D in organic chemistry from The Ohio State University.
Olivia Merkel has been a Professor of Drug Delivery at LMU Munich since 2015. She is a Registered Pharmacist, received a MS in Pharmaceutical Technology in 2006 and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology in 2009 and has received numerous awards, including an ERC
Starting Grant, the Galenus Foundation Technology Award, the Carl-Wilhelm-Scheele-Award, and the best PhD thesis at Philipps-Universität Marburg. Prof. Merkel is the author of over 85 articles and book chapters. She served as NIH reviewer from 2014-2015, SNF reviewer since 2019 and is an Editorial Board member for JCR, EJPB and Molecular Pharmaceutics. She is the President of the German Controlled Release Society and from 2015 until 2017 headed research labs in Detroit and Munich.
Dr. Soucek is a leading figure in the Myc field and has pioneered studies on MYC inhibition since designing Omomyc when she was still an undergraduate student. Dr. Laura Soucek has published in top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Genes & Development, and Nature Communications as First and Senior author. Since early 2011, she heads the Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona, Spain. Her research at VHIO has already been recognized through several national research awards and grants (FERO fellowship, grants from the Miguel Servet Program, FIS and AGAUR), and prestigious international grants such as an ERC Consolidator grant, two ERC Proof of Concept grants and an AICR (now Worldwide Cancer Research) grant. Laura is also co-inventor of five patent applications including the ones at the basis of this project. In December 2014, she co-founded Peptomyc S.L. As CEO of the company, she is directing the scientific and strategic aspects of the project, overseeing its overall implementation, progress, and success.
Benedict Cross is CTO at PhoreMost, a next-generation target and drug discovery company. He joined in 2019 as Senior Director of Tech to lead the evolution and development of the SITESEEKER® screening platform which uses PROTEINi to discover new drugs. Before PhoreMost, Ben founded and led the CRISPR-based functional genomic screening department at the leading UK gene editing biotech, Horizon Discovery. He is a geneticist and biotechnologist, with over ten years of professional research and management experience and has a background in proteostasis and chemical genetic screening.
Nicola Thompson is the CEO of Amphista Therapeutics. Nick has over 25 years’ experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D in a variety of senior scientific and leadership roles. She was previously VP and Global Head of External Drug Discovery at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and prior to that, Senior Director, Business Development for GSK’s Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD). Nicki’s Biotech experience includes her role as Chair of the Board for Nanna Therapeutics Ltd, founding CEO of VirionHealth and Head of Drug Discovery at Syntaxin Ltd. She holds a PhD in Cell Biology from University College London.
Kamal Azzaoui received his PhD in computational chemistry from the University of Orléans France followed by two postdocs at McGill University (Canada) and Georgetown University (USA). He also holds a Master for Advanced Science from the Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine from the university of Bern. He worked for more than 15 years in pharmaceutical industry and biotech (Novartis, Givaudan) in charge of data analysis, drug design using machine learning, cheminformatics and molecular modeling tools. Since 2017, he is the CEO and co-founder of Saverna Therapeutics, a Swiss start-up aiming to discover drugs for non-coding RNAs targets.
What We’re About
Addressing the key topics requested by our audience, prepare to hear from leading innovators in bioavailability, drug delivery and screening, discussing the universal issues that bind all ‘undruggable’ targets and modalities through case studies and interactive panel discussions.
Fresh off the back of the US Undruggable Leaders Forum, the next installment brings together a network of thought-leaders from academia, pharma and biotech from Europe and across the pond. Join us to discuss the biggest challenges in research and business development with a global audience and drive the industry forward through pan-undruggable collaboration.
Digital Conference Platform
The Digital conference platform is purpose-built to enable us to provide you with a more personal experience.
For starters, no more wondering who is in the room! View and message the entire attendee list. If that’s not enough, there are a multitude of structured and unstructured networking opportunities to give you the chance to reconnect with old friends and meet your future collaborators.
Then there’s the learning. Through an engaging and interactive agenda, you will be able to actively or passively participate as much as you’d like. From polls and Q&A through to open discussions and dedicated roundtables, it has never been easier to accelerate your knowledge of the “Undruggable”.
Imagine the possibilities of this digital event! Networking with your peers, learning from the experts, collaborating, and shaping the future of the “Undruggable” industry – all on a world-class, purpose-built platform.
The Undruggable Leaders Forum Europe being online presents an opportunity for us to super-charge our offering. We have selected the best-in-class platform to offer our attendees a wide range of options to learn, network, and collaborate. The result, bringing together more senior R&D and business exec’s from across the industry.
Making your session engaging and knowledgeable will attract the largest audience. We will guide you on how best to maximize the benefits of using our platform.
No need to sit behind a desk! Our networking tools enable attendees to arrange 121 video conversations as well as taking part in curated networking sessions. You could potentially meet many more people than you would in a typical venue setting.
Get in touch to learn more about the options available.
Register for the Event
For pricing and booking options please click the button to go to the registration page.