For the latest COVID-19 Travel restrictions and recommendations please click here

SAE Media Group are proud to present the 13th annual Advances and Progress in Drug Design conference, convening in Central London on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February 2014.

This exciting event will focus on new approaches and the future of drug design. It will offer attendees the chance to hear from leading industry experts on lead optimisation strategies, SBDD and FBDD. 

There are lots of methods in drug design ranging from x-ray crystallography to NMR and computational chemistry techniques. Our drug design event will showcase innovative methodologies in drug design, strategies from theory into practice and informative practical guidance on drug design and discovery challenges. High profile scientists from pharma companies and biotech organisations will be speaking about their work in the field and discussing the latest developments in fragment based drug design, structure based drug design and the role of water in addition to lead optimisation strategies.

 Testimonials from 2013

‘High quality event!’ Eisai Ltd
‘Well selected talks, stimulating atmosphere’ Sanofi
‘Very good interactive meeting, overall excellent’ Pfizer
‘This was a very good meeting – right number of people’ AstraZeneca

• Best Practice – Share ideas with industry leaders to identify cutting-edge developments including new approaches in drug design, fragment based drug discovery, water applied to drug design and lead optimisation challenges
• Strategy – Hear case studies from over 12 major pharmaceutical companies and gain unique insights into drug design strategies used by Roche, Bayer, Astex Pharmaceuticals plus many more.
• Minimise costs - Analyse how lead optimisation can reduce failed leads
• The Future: Analyse results from 150 published optimisation programmes to see the impact on future developments. Discover how to increase your achieval rates in drug discovery
• Peer to peer networking: Ample opportunity for discussion, including a drinks reception at the close of the first day sponsored by Chemical Computing Group.

SMi's 13th annual Advances and Progress in Drug Design Conference will build on the success of our previous events and bring together a unique mix of senior executives from all over industry and academia and will be an unrivalled forum for problem-solving discussion and debate.

This event is unmissable for VPs, Directors, Heads, Senior Managers and Pricnipal Scientists from the following departments:

Structure and Informatics

Computer-Aided Drug Design

Computational Chemistry

Cancer Research

Molecular Interaction

Medicinal Chemistry


Molecular Imaging

Neuroscience Chemistry

Drug Discovery & Design

Target Discovery

Translational Sciences



Clinical Development

Structural Biology


Medicinal Chemistry

Organisations which attended in 2013 include:

Actelion Pharmaceuticals; Almirall; AstraZeneca; Barcelona University; Biomedical Research; Celltech Ltd; Chemical Computing Group; D. E. Shaw Research; Dainippon-sumitomo pharma co., ltd.; E M B L-E B I; Eisai; Galapagos; Glaxo Wellcome ; GlaxoSmithKline; GlaxoSmithKline plc; Global Leadership Solutions; Heptares Therapeutics; Heptares Therapeutics & Lundbeck; Hungarian Academy Of Sciences; Institute of Cancer Research; Intelligent Pharma S.L.; Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development; JT Central Pharmaceutical Research Institute; MedImmune Inc.; Merck KGAA; National Institute Of Advanced Industrial Science And Technology; Novartis; OpenEye Scientific Software; Palacky University in Olomouc; Pfizer; Roche; Sanofi-Aventis; Shrodinger GmbH; Society of Biology; Sussex University; UCB; University College London Medical School; University Of Birmingham; University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine; University Of Catania; University of South Bohemia; Vernalis;

Conference programme

8:30 Registration and coffee

9:00 Chairman's opening remarks

John Mathias

John Mathias, Head of Medicinal Chemistry - Inflammation & Remodelling, Pfizer

9:10 Exploring and conquering protein conformational space

Andreas Kuglstatter

Andreas Kuglstatter, Senior Prinicipal Scientist, Roche

  • Different strategies have been applied to determine X-ray crystal structures of target proteins in distinct conformations
  • The experimental insights into target protein flexibility have enhanced SBDD impact
  • Examples will be shown for aspartyl proteases, protein kinases and protein-protein interactions
  • 9:50 Implementing computational structural biology in biotherapeutic drug discovery

    Sudharsan Sridharan

    Sudharsan Sridharan, Scientist, MedImmune Inc.

  • Value of structural information in biotherapeutics discovery
  • Overcoming some of the challenges in biotherapeutic drug discovery using computational structural biology tools
  • Practical examples: protein-protein docking; aggregation propensity prediction; in silico mutagenesis
  • What could be the future computational structural biology needs of the biotherapeutics industry
  • 10:30 Morning coffee

    10:50 Modeling and simulation of GPCRs: applications to structure based drug design

    Hugo  Gutierrez de Teran

    Hugo Gutierrez de Teran, Researcher, Cell and Mol Biology, Uppsala University

  • Analysing the advances in membrane protein crystallography relating to GPCRs
  • Utilising a web-based automated pipeline to generate high-quality 3D models of GPCRs and to perform molecular dynamics simulations
  • Example of the system in practice - comprehensive deployment of this new approach in computational chemistry
  • 11:30 Water placement - application of 3D-RISM to structure-based drug design

    Paul  Labute

    Paul Labute, CEO, Chemical Computing Group

  • Examining the behaviour of water as it relates to ligand receptor interactions
  • Exploring the importance of predicting the location of water molecules
  • Applying 3D-RISM to illuminate the placement of water molecules
  • Presentation and discussion of several computational experiments
  • 12:10 Networking lunch

    13:10 Crafting metadynamics and water network perturbation in structure-based drug design

    Andrea Bortolato

    Andrea Bortolato, Senior Computational Chemistry, Heptares Therapeutics

  • Taming molecular docking using Hyde, WaterFLAP and WaterMap in a sophisticated and elegant computational chemistry protocol
  • Bringing a new level of complexity and understanding, analysing the full ligand binding event using Metadynamics
  • 13:50 Fragment based drug discovery - advancing the frontiers of drugability

  • Learnings from a decade of X-ray and biophysical fragment screening
  • Data driven optimisation of Astex's fragment library
  • Recent examples of fragment-to-candidate campaigns addressing challenging targets
  • Tom Heightman

    Tom Heightman, Senior Director, Astex Pharmaceuticals

    14:30 Divergent sequences stabilize antigen-binding conformations in affinity maturation of a broadly neutralizing influenza antibody lineage

    Huafeng Xu

    Huafeng Xu, Computational Chemist, D. E. Shaw Research

  • The discovery of broadly neutralizing antibodies against influenza and HIV raises the possibility that more effective vaccines can be developed against these rapidly evolving pathogens
  • Extensive mutations in the course of affinity maturation of such broadly neutralizing antibodies make it difficult to determine the mechanism of affinity gain and whether any particular mutations are key contributors
  • X-ray crystallography, long-timescale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and kinetic measurements suggested that the affinity increase in the mature antibodies was primarily attributable to the stabilization of the CDR H3 loop in the antigen-binding conformation
  • Based on MD simulations and existing crystal structures, we identified a few key mutations during affinity maturation which substantially stabilized the CDR H3 loop in further simulations and lead to increases in the experimentally measured antigen binding affinities
  • Our results suggest that epitope-specific antibodies can develop robustly via complementary independent pathways, with implications in vaccine design
  • 15:10 Afternoon tea

    15:40 What we can learn from fragment based optimisation programs

    Gyorgy Miklos Keseru

    Gyorgy Miklos Keseru, Director General, Hungarian Academy Of Sciences

    Results from the analysis of about 150 published fragment based optimisation programs will be discussed to answer the following questions:

  • Do fragment starting points eliminate the risk of property inflation per se
  • How do ligand efficiency metrics support fragment optimisations
  • What is the impact of the detection methods, the hit properties, the optimisation strategy and the company culture on the outcome of the optimisations?
  • 16:20 NMR based structural biology for fragment based drug discovery

    Oscar van Linden

    Oscar van Linden, Head of Medicinal Chemistry, ZoBio BV

  • Application of advanced NMR techniques to provide structural information of ligand-target complexes
  • Introduction of the NMR pyramid
  • Real life exampless emphasising the different levels of structure elucidation
  • 17:00 Chairman's closing remarks and close of day one

    John Mathias

    John Mathias, Head of Medicinal Chemistry - Inflammation & Remodelling, Pfizer

    17:15 Networking drinks reception hosted by Chemical Computing Group

    8:30 Registration and coffee

    9:00 Chairman's opening remarks

    John Mathias

    John Mathias, Head of Medicinal Chemistry - Inflammation & Remodelling, Pfizer

    9:10 Aligning biochemical and biophysical assays for successful drug discovery

    Amaury Ernesto Fernandez-Montalvan

    Amaury Ernesto Fernandez-Montalvan, Lab Head, High Throughput Screening, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals

    9:50 Identifying and designing different kinase inhibitors

    John Mathias

    John Mathias, Head of Medicinal Chemistry - Inflammation & Remodelling, Pfizer

  • Use of fragment screening and biophysics approaches in kinase drug discovery
  • Screening methods to identify differentiated kinase inhibitors
  • Impacts of inhibitor binding on pharmalogical mode of action
  • 10:30 Morning coffee

    10:50 Small molecule FBDD

    Rob Leurs

    Rob Leurs, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, VU University Amsterdam

  • What are the key developments in this field?
  • Strengths and limitations of small versus large molecule FBDD
  • Conclusion - looking at forthcoming research and forward to the future
  • 11:30 Solubility-driven optimisation of PDE4 inhibitors

    Neil Press

    Neil Press, Director, Novartis

  • Enabling an improved drug profile in humans
  • Using creative chemistry approaches to obtain highly drug-like molecules
  • Analysis and discussion of clinical results
  • 12:10 Networking lunch

    13:10 Molecular design in lead optimisation: from leads to candidates

    Karl-Heinz Baringhaus

    Karl-Heinz Baringhaus, Site Director, R&D Frankfurt, Sanofi-Aventis

  • Application of SAR/QSAR in lead optimisation
  • Exploring ADMET and anti-target modelling of lead series
  • Data driven multidimensional compound optimisation
  • Presentation and discussion of examples
  • 13:50 Chemical probes for epigenetic proteins

    Paul Brennan

    Paul Brennan, Group Head/PI, Nuffield Department of Medicine

  • Discussion of optimisation for potency, selectivity and cellular activity
  • Using cycles of SBDD, parallel organic synthesis, biophysical testing and compound structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis
  • Our work at University of Oxford in lead optimisation
  • 14:30 Afternoon tea

    14:50 Discovery of the first small molecule IL-17 antagonists

    Nils Hansen

    Nils Hansen, CEO, Vipergen

    15:30 Hit finding strategies for protease targets

    Harald Mauser

    Harald Mauser, Senior Scientist, Roche

  • Focused screening, which methods to apply?
  • What can we learn from fragments
  • Structure-guided hit optimisation - navigating in a multidimensional space
  • 16:10 Chairman's closing remarks and close of day two

    John Mathias

    John Mathias, Head of Medicinal Chemistry - Inflammation & Remodelling, Pfizer



    Amaury Ernesto Fernandez-Montalvan

    Amaury Ernesto Fernandez-Montalvan

    Lab Head, High Throughput Screening, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals
    John Mathias

    John Mathias

    Head of Medicinal Chemistry - Inflammation & Remodelling, Pfizer
    Tom Heightman

    Tom Heightman

    Senior Director, Astex Pharmaceuticals

    Amaury Ernesto Fernandez-Montalvan

    Lab Head, High Throughput Screening, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals
    Amaury Ernesto Fernandez-Montalvan

    Andrea Bortolato

    Senior Computational Chemistry, Heptares Therapeutics
    Andrea Bortolato

    Andreas Kuglstatter

    Senior Prinicipal Scientist, Roche
    Andreas Kuglstatter

    Gyorgy Miklos Keseru

    Director General, Hungarian Academy Of Sciences
    Gyorgy Miklos Keseru

    Harald Mauser

    Senior Scientist, Roche
    Harald Mauser

    Huafeng Xu

    Computational Chemist, D. E. Shaw Research
    Huafeng Xu

    Hugo Gutierrez de Teran

    Researcher, Cell and Mol Biology, Uppsala University
    Hugo  Gutierrez de Teran

    John Mathias

    Head of Medicinal Chemistry - Inflammation & Remodelling, Pfizer
    John Mathias

    Karl-Heinz Baringhaus

    Site Director, R&D Frankfurt, Sanofi-Aventis
    Karl-Heinz Baringhaus

    Neil Press

    Director, Novartis
    Neil Press

    Nils Hansen

    CEO, Vipergen
    Nils Hansen

    Oscar van Linden

    Head of Medicinal Chemistry, ZoBio BV
    Oscar van Linden

    Paul Labute

    CEO, Chemical Computing Group
    Paul  Labute

    Paul Brennan

    Group Head/PI, Nuffield Department of Medicine
    Paul Brennan

    Rob Leurs

    Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, VU University Amsterdam
    Rob Leurs

    Sudharsan Sridharan

    Scientist, MedImmune Inc.
    Sudharsan Sridharan

    Tom Heightman

    Senior Director, Astex Pharmaceuticals
    Tom Heightman


    Fragment-based approach to lead discovery: applications and issues

    Fragment-based approach to lead discovery: applications and issues

    Marriott Regents Park
    19th February 2014
    London, United Kingdom

    Marriott Regents Park

    128 King Henry's Road
    London NW3 3ST
    United Kingdom

    Marriott Regents Park

    This 4 star north London hotel in zone 2 is the perfect destination for the astute business traveler as well as the leisure guest that knows how convenient north London hotels are, as a base from which to explore the city .Bond Street is just 3 stops from Swiss Cottage underground station on the Jubilee Line, so you can be shopping, exploring the sights and taking in one of London’s world-renowned West End shows in less than 15 minutes when you stay at this hotel near central London. At the same time, the hive of activity that is Camden Town, the chic shops, cafes and restaurants of Primrose Hill and ZSL’s London Zoo in Regents Park are all just a short walk from this hotel in north London.



    speaker image






    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

    ‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

    CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

    Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


    There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

    For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

    CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


    Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

    ‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

    ‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

    The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

    As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SAE Media Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

    CPD Certificates

    We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@saemediagroup.com

    Event Title


    Read More

    I would like to speak at an event

    I would like to attend an event

    I would like to sponsor/exhibit at an event


    Sign up
    Forgotten Password?

    Contact SAE Media Group

    UK Office
    Opening Hours: 9.00 - 17.30 (local time)
    SAE Media Group , Ground Floor, India House, 45 Curlew Street, London, SE1 2ND, United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (0) 20 7827 6000 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7827 6001
    Website: http://www.smgconferences.com Email: events@saemediagroup.com
    Registered in England - SMi Group Ltd trading as SAE Media Group

    Forgotten Password

    Please enter the email address you registered with. We will email you a new password.

    Thank you for visiting our event

    If you would like to receive further information about our events, please fill out the information below.

    By ticking above you are consenting to receive information by email from SAE Media Group.
    Full details of our privacy policy can be found here https://www.smgconferences.com/privacy-legals/privacy-policy/.
    Should you wish to update your contact preferences at any time you can contact us at data@smgconferences.com.
    Should you wish to be removed from any future mailing lists please click on the following link http://www.smgconferences.com/opt-out