The Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
Wynnewood, PA - LIMR Chemical Genomics Center, Inc. (LCGC), a subsidiary of Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR), announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Melvin Reichman, PhD, President, CSO and Founder of LCGC, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “A Totally New Approach to Discover Malaria Combination Drugs”.
“This Grand Challenges Explorations Award offers the project team an exciting opportunity to apply LCGC’s unique ultra-high throughput screening technologies to discover novel, combination-drug leads against drug-resistant malaria,” stated Dr. Reichman.
Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide who are taking innovative approaches to some of the world’s toughest and persistent global health and development challenges. GCE invests in the early stages of bold ideas that have real potential to solve the problems people in the developing world face every day. Dr. Reichman’s project is one of over 80 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 9 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Investments in innovative global health research are already paying off,” said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery and Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We continue to be impressed by the novelty and innovative spirit of Grand Challenges Explorations projects and are enthusiastic about this exciting research. These investments hold real potential to yield new solutions to improve the health of millions of people in the developing world, and ensure that everyone has the chance to live a healthy productive life.”
To receive funding, Dr. Reichman and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 9 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a creative idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included agriculture development, immunization and communications. Applications for the current open round, Grand Challenges Explorations Round 10, will be accepted through November 7, 2012.
The LIMR Chemical Genomics Center (LCGC) will develop and validate a totally new, drug-screening paradigm for detecting drug synergy against Plasmodium falciparum using large compound sets of known antimalarials. We call our technology: ‘ultra-High Throughput Screening for Synergy’ (uHTSS). Our novel uHTSS approach will open new research corridors in polypharmacology and improve our understanding of the interplay between connected cell-signaling networks exploited by drug-resistant infection vectors. Achieving our objective will speed the discovery and development of more effective medicines that improve world health. Dr. Melvin Reichman, CSO of LCGC (USA), who is the Principal Investigator for the research, proposes to develop and validate uHTSS in collaboration with Professor Vicky Avery, PhD, Chief Investigator and Head at the Griffith University - Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies (Australia).
Dr. Reichman received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester Medical School, Center for Brain Research. He has directed drug discovery research at several pharmas and biotech companies, including: GD Searle, Berlex Biosciences, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Oncogene Sciences and DuPont Pharma. He founded LCGC in 2007 together with George Prendergast, PhD, CEO of LCGC and LIMR, to bridge a major divide between universities and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the transfer and commercialization of biomedical technologies that improve human health.
About Grand Challenges Explorations
Grand Challenges Explorations is a $100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, over 700 people in 45 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization. The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.
About LIMR Chemical Genomics Center Inc. (LCGC)
LIMR Chemical Genomics Center’s business model is a protected open-innovation framework called Double-Blinded Drug Discovery® (DBD2) that establishes a totally new, public-private partnering consortium. Our patented NanoTube Automated Repository System (NARS) can store 10 million compounds and rapidly retrieve them with a robot working in a room-size freezer on our campus. We provide pharma’s vast medicinal libraries formatted in a new way that speeds new leads discovery by 500% for scientists in academia. A top-tier pharmaceutical company client and 13 international academic organizations have joined the DBD2 Consortium to date. LCGC is a for-profit biotech company wholly owned by Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR), an independent, nonprofit biomedical research center located in suburban Philadelphia on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center, Main Line Health.