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Drug Discovery Latin America, February 26-27, 2009 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The inaugural Drug Discovery Latin America conference and exhibition will be held in the colourful city of Rio de Janeiro in the days immediately following the world famous carnival.

The purpose of this meeting is to review the status of drug discovery activities in Latin America and to assist its future development. Business and research leaders from both developed markets and BRIC countries will bring their knowledge and experience to share. Participants will be encouraged to network and explore partnering opportunities.

Full conference passes include admission to all sessions and the exhibition as well as conference documentation.
Lunch, coffee breaks and the drinks reception provide ample time for networking and to continue discussions from the question and answer sessions.

http://www.selectbiosciences.com/conferences/DDLA2009

Agenda

Day One – 26 February 2009

Screening

09:00

Using Drug Molecules as Probes and Probe Molecules as Drug Precursors
Ralph Garippa, Research Leader, Roche Discovery Technologies
This talk will highlight some examples of Pharma’s HT screened molecules which became popular commercialized reagents, and some promising molecules which have been published in the public domain (PubMed) as a result of academic screening.

09:30

Title to be Confirmed
Jeremy Caldwell, Director of Cell Based Screening, GNF

10:00

Using in vitro Screening Assays to Profile the Biology of Chemical Entities
John Watson, Director, Pharmacology and Biotechnology, Promega
Profiling of a compound’s impact on cell signaling pathways, ADME properties and cellular toxicity early in the discovery process can help prioritize compounds to help assure the final drug has maximal target activity and minimal off target effects.

10:30

Coffee and Networking in the Exhibition Hall

11:15

Nuclear Receptor Activation Assessment: Improving Safety and Directing Chemistry
Kyle Kramer, Vice President, Business Development, Puracyp
The presentation includes introduction to key nuclear receptors (NR) involved in drug metabolism. The construction and use of stable cell lines with reporter genes is explained. Finally, the utility of these systems in drug safety screening is presented.

11:45

Functional Genome-Wide Screening for Genes that Regulate p53 in Endothelial Cells
Michael Edel, Principle Investigator, Centre of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona
Angiogenesis requires an increase in endothelial cell proliferation to support an increase in mass of blood vessels. An in vitro cell model has been designed that can be used for screening gene or chemical libraries that regulate endothelial cell proliferation.

12:15

Presentation to be Announced

12:45

Lunch and Networking in the Exhibition Hall

Tropical Disease Drug Development

14:00

Prolyl Oligopeptidase of Trypanosoma cruzi (POP Tc80) : A Target for the Design of New Weapons Against Chagas Desease
Bernard Maigret, CNRS Research Director, LORIA – Nancy University
The group has recently demonstrated that the activity of POPTc80, a prolyl endopeptidase that mediates native collagen and fibronectin hydrolysis, is required for trypomastigotes entry into host cells. Using a tridimentionnel model of this target built from homology modelling, molecular docking and screening assays they were able to identify possible new compounds active against Chagas desease.

14:30

Novel Drug Targets for the Malaria Parasite
Asif Mohmmed, Staff Research Scientist, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

15:00

Title to be Confirmed
Leila de Mendonça Lima, Senior Researcher and Head of Lab. for Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, FIOCRUZ

15:30

Coffee and Networking in the Exhibition Hall

16:15

Drug Discovery of Fluorinated Drugs Against Neglected Diseases and HIV/AIDS
Núbia Boechat, Head of R&D Group in Medicinal Chemistry, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, FIOCRUZ
Organic synthesis of fluorinated compounds in medicinal chemistry against AIDS and neglected diseases; innovation and technological management in public health.

Drug Discovery in Emerging Markets

16:45

Drug Development and Discovery
Christopher Bianca, Professor of Chemistry, Clinical Consultant, Keystone College Academia
This presentation discusses all the relevant information required to develop a new drug or a lead compound drug, from toxicology, to pharmacodynamics, to pharmacokinetics, and all the way to clinical trials including FDA approval.

17:15

Stem Cells in Drug Discovery
Chris Kendrick-Parker, Chief Commercial Officer, Cellular-Dynamics International

17:45

Drinks Reception

Day Two – 27 February 2009

Drug Discovery in Emerging Markets (continued)

09:00

Title to be Confirmed
Marcelo Criscuolo, Executive Director, Bio Sidus

09:30

Ranbaxy’s Quest to Become a Research Based International Pharmaceutical Company
Abhijit Ray, Director, New Drug Discovery Research, Ranbaxy Laboratories
Ranbaxy has worked hard to create physical infrastructure, science base and a sustainable strategy for drug discovery research. How this effort has borne fruit will be discussed.

10:00

Taking Companies from Concept to Market
Paul Morril, Co-Founder, Execute Technologies

10:30

Coffee and Networking in the Exhibition Hall

11:15

Title to be Confirmed
Jose Krieger, Heart Institute (InCor), University of Sao Paulo

11:45

Comparative Proteomics Identification of Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers in Leukemias
Eliana Abdelhay, Head of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Laboratory, National Cancer Institute (INCA)
Through proteomics the group analyzed the modifications in the protein profile of bone marrow MNCs from patients in CML phases and in Imatinib Mesylate treatment. They could identify several putative biomarkers of diagnostic, evolution and treatment response that can be use in drug design.

12:15

NFAT Transcription Factors: A Putative New Target in Cancer
João Viola, Head, Division of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute (INCA)
The Nuclear Factor of Activated T Cells (NFAT) family of transcription factors is activated upon different stimuli that lead to increased intracellular calcium levels. NFAT proteins regulate genes that control many aspects of malignant cell transformation and tumour development. The group investigates the molecular mechanisms by which NFAT regulate tumour-related events and its involvement in oncogenesis.

12:45

Lunch and Networking in the Exhibition Hall

Natural Products

14:00

ChemBioBank, an Academic Project for Drug Discovery in Latin America
Fernando Albericio, Executive Director, Barcelona Science Park, University of Barcelona
The goal of the Latin American ChemBioBank project (LA-CBB) is to build a chemico-biological database, annotated with both biological and bioinformatic data, addressed to the scientific community and to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

14:30

High Content Screens for Novel Antipoxviral Agents: Natural Products to the Rescue
Hakim Djaballah, Director, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre
The group have developed and validated a high content assay to screen for compounds that would preferentially block viral entry, viral replication, or viral spread upon infecting cell monolayer seeded in 384-well plates with a recombinant vaccinia virus which expresses karyophilic GFP under the control of a viral early/late promoter.

15:00

Using a Luciferase Based Screening Assay to Identify Traditional Chinese Medicine Targeting Nuclear Hormone Receptors
Chiwai Wong, Principal Investigator, Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Since the activities of nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) are regulated by small molecule compounds and that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) extracts contain a diverse array of naturally derived chemicals, the group investigated if selective TCM extracts modulate the activities of NHRs.

15:30

Coffee and Networking in the Exhibition Hall

16:15

Bourreria huanita Flowers, a New Antidepressant?
Miguel Torres, Biological Chemist, University of San Carlos
Ethnobotanical and pharmacological studies have preliminarily demonstrated an antidepressant effect in ethanolic extract of dried Bourreria huanita (Boraginaceae) flowers from Guatemala. It’s possible this natural product contains a medically useful molecule and funding is required to continue the chemical analysis and elucidation.

16:45

Post Absorption and Metabolism Compounds: A New Approach to Discover Drug Candidates from Chinese Herbal Medicine
William Jia, VP Research and Associate Professor, Shanghai Innovative Research Centre/University of British Columbia
In a recent study the group has isolated compounds post absorption/metabolism (PAM) of orally taken ginseng. The study showed that those compounds are highly active for neuroprotection and anti-depression.