Leuven.Inc Conference 'How to increase innovation and success in drug discovery?'

This conference is organized in collaboration with the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3) and K.U.Leuven Research & Development (LRD).

The pharma industry is under constant pressure to discover new and safer drugs to treat diseases with a high medical need. In the past decade, pipelines have started to dry up and the approval of new chemical entities has decreased steadily.

This conference highlights some of the current changes in the field of drug discovery, which could turn around this decreasing trend. In general, innovation is the cornerstone for all these changes. New models of academic drug discovery and collaborations between pharma companies, biotechs and universities are being investigated and implemented in order to increase innovation. New target classes and phenotypic drug discovery come again to the foreground to identify new chemical entities with innovative mechanisms of action. Finally, progress in technologies which can improve the drug discovery process and increase the success rates are highlighted.

International experts from pharma, biotech and academia will discuss the above topics followed by an open panel discussion at the end of this 1-day conference.

Who should attend?

  • Industrial and academic researchers
  • Biotechnology Sector
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Public Health Policy
  • Business development or project managers
  • Technology transfer professionals
  • Funding agencies
  • Proof-of-concept or translational centres
  • Executives and members of the investment community interested in drug research

Practical aspects

Date: Monday November 21, 2011 (09h00-18h00)
Location: Brabanthal, Leuven
Route description: www.brabanthal.be


09h00:Registration participants
Koenraad Debackere (Managing Director, K.U.Leuven R&D)
 Part A: Changes in collaboration and business models
10h05:The Centre for Drug Design and Discovery
Dr. Patrick Chaltin, Managing Director CD3
10h25:Risk sharing between pharma and biotech: the way to go?
Andre Hoekema, Senior VP Corporate Development, Galapagos
10h50:What do large pharma look for in academic collaborations?
Dr. David Reynolds, Executive Director, External R&D Innovation, Pfizer
11h20:Q & A
11h30:Coffee / tea break
 Part B: Hot targets
11h55:Targeting protein-protein interactions
Prof. Zeger Debyser, Head of Division Molecular Medicine, K.U.Leuven - Coordinator IWT-SBO CellCoVir
12h15:Epigenetic drug discovery
Anthony Brown, Scientific Director, Cellcentric
12h35:The revival of phenotypic screening: rethinking mechanisms of drug discovery
Dr. David C. Swinney, CEO iRND3, Institute for Rare and Neglected Diseases Drug Discovery
13h00:Q & A
13h15:Sandwich lunch 
 Part C: Innovations in supportive technologies
14h20:Target discovery: chemical proteomics and cofradic in target discovery
Mathias Laga, Post-Doc Medical Protein Research Lab, VIB/UGent
14h40:Innovative biophysics for fragment-based drug discovery
Dr. Gregg Siegal, CSO ZoBio - Protein Chemistry, University of Leiden
15h05:Predicting toxicity: Zebrafish as an in vivo model for predicting drug-induced multi-organ toxity
Dr. Natalie Mesens, Drug safety group, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and Dr. Camila Esguerra, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biology, K.U.Leuven
15h25:Q & A
15h50:Coffee / tea break 
 Part D: Meeting the challenges
16u15:Keynote presentation: The Changing Landscape of Drug Discovery Research
Dr. Malcolm Skingle, Director, Academic Liaison, Medicines Discovery and Development, GSK
16h45:Panel discussion “Meeting the challenges”

Closing remarks


The interventions will be held in English 

Participation fee

160 euro (excl. VAT): researchers affiliated and billable to academic institutes
260 euro (excl. VAT): members of Leuven.Inc
360 euro (excl. VAT): all others

Participation in our activities at -50% discount via KMO-portefeuille
Pijler OPLEIDING: Leuven.Inc Approval number DV.O106761
More info:


Registrations before Monday November 14th, 2011, preferably via the online registration form (use the 'Register' button) or by email to admin@leuveninc.com (including all contact and invoice details).

After registration you will receive a confirmation and route description. The registration fee is payable after receipt of invoice. Cancellation after subscription is not possible. However, replacement by a colleague is allowed.*

* As an (Associate) Company Member you can be replaced by a colleague. As an individual Member you can only be replaced by another Individual Member. When this is not possible, Leuven.Inc will charge an extra fee for the replacement by a non-member.


The Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3) is a technology transfer and value creation platform in the field of small molecule drug discovery and target validation. CD3 focuses on the discovery of innovative small molecule drugs by complementing the high level and ground-breaking biology present at universities and small (spin-off) companies. By providing professional expertise and financial means, CD3 stimulates the discovery and development of innovative drugs for multiple diseases and ensures that the enormous pool of knowledge, innovation and technologies of universities and spin-off companies is used adequately. Newly discovered potential drugs can then be further developed by the existing pharma or biotech industry or can form the basis of new spin-off companies. In this way, the Centre intends to bridge the gap between academic biomedical research and the needs of the pharma and biotech industry. The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have entered a partnership agreement in 2006 to create CD3.

LRD was established in 1972 as one of the first technology transfer offices in Europe and has a long tradition in collaboration with industry, patenting, licensing and spin-off creation. LRD is dedicated to building bridges between science and industry and to transferring knowledge and technologies to the marketplace. The LRD-team guides both researchers and companies through all aspects of the technology transfer process.

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