Bayer HealthCare has founded a new pan-European consortium for drug discovery, the European Lead Factory (ELF).
The five-year project will create a small molecule library to resource drug discovery projects based on targets from pharma and academic researchers.
Working with six other European pharma companies, Bayer will co-ordinate the compilation of 300,000 substances and contribute 50,000 of these.
A further library of 200,000 compounds will be developed by industry SMEs and academics.
The two libraries will make up a Joint European Compound Collection that will be accessible to all project partners, and to health organisations and SMEs.
Targets for drug discovery will be selected, through competitive calls, from those proposed by pharma companies and health providers.
“The European Lead Factory is an outstanding example of a project in which public-private partnerships enable collaborative drug discovery,” commented Hanno Wild, Senior VP and Head of Candidate Generation & Exploration at Bayer HealthCare Global Drug Discovery. “The platform brings together academia and industry as well as SMEs in a unique partnership aiming to discover innovative medicines.”
The project is part of the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a partnership that supports industry and academics in collaborative research.
Michel Goldman, IMI Executive Director, said: “This unique project will give European researchers unprecedented access to industry chemical collections and facilitate the translation of their findings into actual treatments for patients.”
The ELF has 30 member organisations from pharma companies, SMEs and academia. Inspired by the increasingly successful ‘open innovation’ model, it aims to achieve a sustainable role in European drug development.
The project’s five-year budget of €196m is made up of €80m from the European Commission, €91m from participating pharma companies and €25m from other participants.