The CNIO has established an infrastructure and programme to accelerate the preliminary phases of the discovery and development process for new drugs. The Experimental Therapeutics Programme (ETP) is meant to bridge the gap between basic research underway into the biology of cancer and the pharmaceutical sector.
Thanks to their broad experience in the pharmaceutical industry, ETP research teams bring the discovery process closer to completion beginning with the identification of a molecule – a “hit” obtained through sophisticated screening processes, or by applying the principles of rational design. In either case, the results at the end of the discovery process will be candidate compounds – leads – that will subsequently be earmarked for clinical trials.
The programme has two components: Medicinal Chemistry, where compounds with a potential tumour suppressing effect are synthesized and optimized, and Biology, where those substances are tested in vitro and in vivo – on different types of mouse models of disease.
The CNIO is a member of international alliances for the development of new drugs and therapies, such as the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium. We are likewise affiliated with the Milner Therapeutics Institute at UK-based Cambridge University. The chart below details our pipeline and drug discovery projects underway at the present time.
Phases of the drug discovery process and ETP-CNIO operating model