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How to conduct Translational R&D – Theory & Practice


Registration for this event is closed. Thank you to all who have registered, see you at the event! 

Following the very successful Drug Discovery Course conducted over the last 5 years, we have now developed a new concept around the theme How to conduct Translational R&D – theory and practice as a three-day course, with practical examples, lots of case studies and round tables, to give participants a true picture of the realities on the ground, the hurdles that they will encounter and some advice how to overcome them. 

Who should attend?

This is an entirely redesigned course for people interested in the theoretical and practical aspects of translational R&D. The scope of this new course encompasses small molecular weight compounds, biologics and biomarker discovery and development. 

It is hope that many junior and not so junior colleagues of the academic/A*STAR community will be able to attend.

Topics and Speakers :

Day 1 (21 Nov) 
Time Lecture/Round Table Sub-Topics Speakers
9:00 - 9:45 Goals of the course - Principles of Translational R&D in Biomedicine Introduction: What do we want to learn? What do we want to get out of this course? How to cross safely the valley of death - from a drug target to a drug candidate to Proof-of-Mechanism and Proof of Concept in man, Proof of efficacy and safety and finally registration Alex Matter (ETC/D3, A*STAR)
9:45 - 10:45 Addressing a Medical Need - a Target Product Profile (TPP) - Regulatory Considerations - Discovery & Development Strategy How do we identify a medical need? How do we build a scientific rationale? Considering the patient's needs and the biological/technological opportunities Goh Boon Cher (NCIS and CSI, NUS) & David Epstein (Duke-NUS)
10:45 - 11:00 Teabreak
11:00 - 11:30 Target epidemiology Molecular epidemiology; Bioinformatics. Use of Databases to explore a novel target Carol Tang (NNI)
Sandaraj Edwin (NNI)
11:30 - 12:00 Role of hereditary diseases in finding novel targets Examples of familial disease serving to identify novel drug targets such as Progeria, ELABELA, and DeBarsy Syndrome… Bruno Reversade (IMB, A*STAR)
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Target Selection & Target validation How do we select a target? How do we validate a target? Predictive quality of KO and KD versus pharmacological target modulation. Understanding pathophysiology at the biochemical and structural level David Lane (p53lab, A*STAR)
2:00 - 2:45 Competitor analysis Direct competition; indirect competition. Evaluation of your own position relative to your competitors Deborah Chen (D3, A*STAR)
2:45 - 3:15 Patentability How to determine what is patentable. How to draft a Technology Disclosure: case studies Winnie Chua (ETPL, A*STAR)
3:15 - 3:45 Patents Freedom to operate - Right to practice; Use patents, patent extensions, combination patents. Case studies Winnie Chua (ETPL, A*STAR)
3:45 - 4:00 Teabreak

End of Day 1
 Day 2 (27 Nov)
Time Lecture/Round Table Sub-Topics Speakers
9:00 - 9:45 Selection of Approach Introduction to the principle characteristics of smw, mabs, antisense, gene therapy, cell therapy (Round table). How to choose the right modality: case studies Round table, moderated by David Lane (p53lab, A*STAR), Cheng-I Wang (SIgN, A*STAR), John Connolly (IMCB, A*STAR), Jeffrey Hill (ETC, A*STAR)
9:45 - 10:15 Drugability How to judge the drugability of a chosen target. Case studies Anders Poulsen ETC, A*STAR)
10:15 - 11:00 Assays in drug discovery How to plan and build assays: The point of view of an assay architect Jeffrey Hill (ETC, A*STAR)
11:00 - 11:15 Teabreak

11:15 - 1200 Ion channels in human disease How to study ion channels in human disease - how to select your preferred channel - case studies. Physiology, biochemistry, functional assays, pitfalls George Chandy (LKC School of Medicine, NTU)
12:00 - 12:45 Chemical Biology Understanding a target at the atomic level - case studies - role of biophysics in the study of ligands. Target tractability for compound optimisation Thomas Keller (ETC, A*STAR)
12:45 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 2:15 Screening technologies Understanding the panel of state-of-the-art screening technologies Choong Meng Ling, Ng Fui Mee (both ETC, A*STAR)
2:15 - 3:00 Flow charts From biochemical screens to intact animal efficacy screens: HTS, biochemical screens, cell-based phenotypic screens, high-content imaging, InCell TF Joma Joy (ETC, A*STAR)
3:00 - 3:30 In vitro Pharmacology Biochemical assays, cell-based assays, selectivity assays, p450 enzymes, liver microsome stability, hERG activity, Ames and other mutagenicity tests Vishal Pendarkhar (ETC, A*STAR)
3:30 - 4:00 In vivo Pharmacology PK parameters: Plasma levels of a compound after i.v. and oral dosing, tissue distribution, BBB Kanda Sangthongpitag (ETC, A*STAR)
4:00 - 4:30 Lead optimization The difficult balancing act of optimising a compound for a multitude of parameters: Case studies Kassoum Nacro (ETC, A*STAR)
4:30 - 4:45 Teabreak

End of Day 2
 Day 3 (4 Dec)
Time Lecture/Round Table Sub-Topics Speakers
9:00 - 9:45 Working with Preclinical Development functions How to build a Preclinical Development plan - building blocks. How to tailor development to the needs of clinical trials and regulatory requirements. Making your candidate fit for human clinical trials - case studies Pauline Yeo (D3, A*STAR)
9:45 - 10:30 Biomarker discovery & Diagnostics Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers. QC, Regulatory requirements, discovery vs development Veronica Diermayr (D3, A*STAR)
10:30 - 10:45 Teabreak
10:45 - 11:30 Preclinical Development Definitions: Upscaling, stability, formulation, GMP batches, GLP Tox, GLP ADME. PK/PD relationships. Case studies Kantharaj Ethirajulu (D3, A*STAR)
11:30 - 12:15 Risk Management in Drug Discovery Upsides, Downsides, examples of very hurdles: Alzheimer Disease Edward Koo (Departments of Medicine and Physiology, NUS)
12:15 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Clinical Trials today Modern design of early clinical trials: Biomarker-driven early clinical development; Proof-of-Concept, oCRM, Basket trials, Umbrella trials, statistics, Modeling & Simulation Vincenzo Teneggi & Joel Leong (both D3, A*STAR)
2:00 - 2:45 From TPP to the Market and in Pharma - An Example A typical construct of Target Product Profile in a pharmaceutical company Neo Kah Yean (ETPL, A*STAR)
2:45 - 3:15 Q&A Session

3:15 - 3:30 Teabreak
  End of Day 3


Course dates and venues :

 Day 1

21st November

 9.00am -5.00pm

Biopolis, Exploration @ Matrix Level 4

 Day 2

27th November

 9.00am -5.00pm

Biopolis, Exploration @ Matrix Level 4

 Day 3

4th December

 9.00am -5.00pm

Biopolis, Exploration @ Matrix Level 4


Registration :

 Registration closing date:  27 October 2017 (Closed due to full registration)


Inclusive of 2 tea breaks and buffet lunch (Halal)

·         $300 (incl. GST) for scientists,

·         $80 (incl. GST) for student without monthly salary (please provide a copy of the student status / ID on the first day of the course)


  1. Via Cheque made payable to “Biomedical Sciences Institutes” and post to
    Attn: Helen Yeo
    Experimental Therapeutics Centre
    31 Biopolis Way, #03-01 Nanos
    Singapore 138669
  2. For internet bank transfer
    Bank: Citibank N.A.
    Account Name: Biomedical Sciences Institutes
    Account Number: 0-820563-018
    Please ensure that the bank transfer includes your name and states “ETC-TRD2017”

  3. For A*STAR employees – Internal billing
    For external participants – seat confirmation will only be secured upon receipt of full payment.
    You will receive a confirmation email by 10 Nov 2017.


  1. Submit cancellation requests no later than 14 Nov 2017.
  2. No shows and cancellations not made within this date will incur the full cost of registration.

Attendance: Require to attend 100% of the course to be eligible for the certificate of accomplishment.