Biogen joins Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation to improve success rate for drug discovery

CTTV uses advances in genetic research and computational biology to help scientists with the crucial first step in exploring new medicines

US biotechnology firm Biogen has joined the UK's Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation (CTTV), a public-private collaboration that aims to improve the success rate for discovering new medicines.

Originally formed by GSK, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the CTTV fosters ongoing collaborations between academic and industry members with the aim of developing open approaches to selecting and validating novel targets in drug development.

The CTTV, which is located on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, UK, uses advances in genetic research and computational biology to help scientists with the crucial first step in exploring new medicines: finding where to start.

Target validation, which clearly defines the role that a biological process plays in a disease, is a key initial phase of drug discovery.

Currently, an estimated 90% of compounds entering clinical trials fail to demonstrate the necessary efficacy and safety requirements, never reaching patients as medicines. This is often because the biological target chosen is not well understood.

Biogen’s membership follows the launch of the new CTTV Target Validation Platform, which helps researchers identify therapeutic targets for new medicines. Underscoring its use for drug discovery, the platform has had more than 9,000 visits since its launch in December 2015.

'We are committed to advancing evidence-based target discovery and opening up the field for researchers to create innovative methods and tools to accelerate the development of new medicines,' says Sally John, Vice President, Computational Biology & Genomics at Biogen.

'Being part of the CTTV helps us realise this vision and provides a practical, harmonised way to share data with the scientific community.'

The CTTV covers all aspects of human health and disease. The cornerstone of the collaboration is an agreement that experimental data and information gathered within the CTTV will be shared to benefit the broader scientific community, after basic quality control checks to ensure consistency with the data-sharing guidelines of both institutes.

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