Validating new targets for cancer drug discovery

Host: Olivia Rossanese, CRUK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, The Institute of Cancer Research


Room: Room 11

Identifying and validating novel targets for cancer drug discovery remains one of the key challenges for cancer treatment. Given the time and resources required to develop novel therapeutics, selecting the proper target is essential for successful discovery of new medicines. If you are wrong about the target, you are wrong for a very long time. Building on an initial finding that may be in a single context, target validation should be viewed as an on-going process, consisting of increasingly higher hurdles and requiring the incorporation of sophisticated genetic and pharmacological tools.

Participants will gain an understanding of the challenges involved in target validation for drug discovery and recent efforts to improve the robustness of target validation data. This session will aim to answer key questions such as:
How do we find new targets? What are the best models for the identification of potential targets, especially for those targets in the tumour microenvironment or immune system? When is a target validated and how robust are the tools we are using for validation? What is the role of chemical tools in providing validation?

Confirmed speakers:
William Kaelin, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard, USA
David Adams, The Sanger Institute, UK
Nicola Wallis, Astex Pharmaceuticals, UK

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