Call for projects
In this call, the Drug Discovery and Development Platform (DDD) at SciLifeLab is looking for new pilot project proposals for drug discovery. All therapeutic modalities are of interest. Of special interest are new project ideas for new modalities including therapeutic oligonucleotides, and in collaboration with ENABLE2, projects for the discovery of new antibiotics.
Note that shorter projects for selections in phage display libraries for antibodies and in DNA-encoded chemical libraries for small molecules can be considered.
A description of new modalities in drug discovery research can be found here.
If you have questions about the call please contact DDD by email (email@example.com). This call is open for scientists with a doctoral degree at a Swedish university or higher institution. English should be used when filling out this application. You are responsible for ensuring that the application is complete. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
Deadline for application: 31 Jan 2023
Units of the DDD Platform
What do we offer?
The SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) platform offers integrated drug discovery efforts to the Swedish academic research community. We offer industry-standard infrastructure, expertise, and strategic support for technology development or to help progress projects towards a preclinical proof-of-concept. We work with small molecules, human antibodies, and new modality therapeutics. There are three ways to interact with us:
|Drug development project||Access to resources/instruments/|
technologies at DDD
|Access to spare resources/|
instruments at DDD
Services are offered in the following areas:
Importantly, the researcher/customer retains all rights and ownership during this process.
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Achievements and Testimonials
“We couldn’t have done this project without SciLifeLab. To begin with, we didn’t even know which things we didn’t know, so to speak. Nor did we have the funds to be able to do it ourselves. The vast competence of the DDD platform scientists has been invaluable to us.”
Olle Hernell (Umeå University)
“To have access to the expertise and techniques provided by the DDD was critical for us in order to be able to advance our research.”
Tina Sarén (Uppsala University)
Open positions in Solna
Researcher Human Antibody Therapeutics
Human Antibody Therapeutics (HAT) is looking for a new person to strengthen their team in Solna. Candidates should have a PhD and experience with phage display and/or other display techniques. You should be experienced in molecular biology techniques, and experience with selection and characterization of antibodies and/or binding proteins is meriting. Read more about qualifications and other details:
Research Engineer Human Antibody Therapeutics
Human Antibody Therapeutics (HAT) is looking for a new person to strengthen their team in Solna. Candidates should have a masters degree and experience with molecular biology techniques, protein purification and analysis. Experience with selection and characterization of antibodies and/or binding proteins is meriting. Read more about qualifications and other details:
A paper titled “An Adaptable Antibody-Based Platform for Flexible Synthetic Peptide Delivery Built on Agonistic CD40 Antibodies” was recently published in Advanced Therapeutics, with many contributors from the DDD Platform. This work was the result of a successful project owned by Sara Mangsbo and her colleagues, which made an exit in 2021.
Since 2020, the DDDP has had high priority on covid-19 through the Nevermore Covid project, which has resulted in promising inhibitors of the Mpro protease of SARS-CoV-2, just published in JACS by Jens Carlsson, Helena Danielsson and others.
“This shows how academic researchers can in fact get results in highly competitive fields such as covid-19 research by working in an open and collaborative environment and by accessing the national infrastructures that DDDP and SciLifeLab provide,” says Kristian Sandberg, platform director for the DDDP. He also adds that other promising molecules have been identified in DNA-encoded library screens performed at the DDDP.
Per Arvidsson, platform director for DDDP, adds: “At the outset of this project, few believed that drugs for covid-19 would be needed given the pace of vaccine development; even more were skeptical that academic efforts could make a meaningful impact in this highly competitive space. Less than two years later, we see a huge global demand for antivirals, and everyone now realizes the importance of preparing for future pandemics by having drug candidates lined up for development. Most impressively, this project demonstrates the power of combining cutting-edge drug discovery technologies, such as virtual screening and DNA encoded chemical screening, with the capabilities available at both national and international infrastructures like SciLifeLab, Max IV Laboratory, and the Diamond Light source, in an international collaboration under a professional project leadership. The team has really done a remarkable job in getting this far in such a short time!”
Watch a video from 2020 by Upptalk Weekly where Jens Carlsson (Uppsala University) talks about this project around SARS CoV-2 main protease drug discovery, and how molecular dynamics simulations can accelerate drug discovery. The video is in Swedish.
The SciLifeLab Symposium: “Accelerating the process from basic drug discovery to clinical trial for Covid-19” from Dec 1, 2020, is available on YouTube.
Recent DDD-exit: Promising antibody candidate in the fight against cancer
A new promising cancer treatment, aiming to inhibit tumor growth by attacking the signaling pathway of transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) has just left the SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) platform. Umeå University based researcher Maréne Landström and her team are behind the project that is aiming for clinical trials in the near future. Read the full article here.
Recent developments at the DDDP
With its mission to support researchers in developing prototypes for new drugs, the DDD platform is focused on providing state-of-the-art drug discovery technologies to scientists across the country. During the last couple of years, the platform has developed DNA-coded chemical libraries that make it easier to find relevant starting points for small molecule drug discovery. In 2020, the platform launched its third library, containing over one million unique DNA-coded drug-like substances. Currently used for COVID-19 projects, the library will be made available for academic researchers nationwide in 2021.
The platform also recently established a new methodology for developing PROTACs
® (Proteolysis targeting chimera), a new kind of drug which breaks down target proteins instead of inhibiting their functions. In 2020, the platform’s researchers – in close collaboration with scientists at Karolinska Institutet, Uppsala University and Recipharm AB – showed the first functional degrader to be produced in Swedish academia. Now, the aim is to make this technology available to users in early 2022.
In 2020, the activities at the platform were in many ways affected by the corona pandemic, but despite restrictions, the platform managed to carry out most of its operations as planned. During the year, it added three new academic projects to its portfolio, and carried out two successful exits; one of which, a project on developing a new kind of cell therapy (CAR-T) for glioblastoma, was advanced into a private company that will continue its development.
The platform also launched two research projects on COVID-19 – one aiming to identify inhibitors of a viral protease essential to the growth of the virus, and one where antibodies with high-binding strength to the virus surface protein have been identified.
The DDD platform has until recently focused on small molecules and protein drugs; a recent addition is oligonucleotides. Oligonucleotide drugs have a potentially faster development compared to other drug types. The OligoNova Hub is based in Gothenburg and will become part of SciLifeLab’s DDD platform.
”This endeavour enables the DDD platform to take on new kinds of projects for diseases with unmet medical needs, and focus on different therapies. It also creates several potential synergies, for instance, a possibility to combine DDD’s unique antibody expertise with oligonucleotide drugs to facilitate delivery to the correct cell type”, says Kristian Sandberg, Co-Director of the platform.
“The OligoNova Hub will establish a vibrant center based on scientific excellence for these new medicines, creating a unique opportunity for SciLifeLab to work on new drugs together with the life science community in Sweden. We look forward to working with the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine, to make these technologies available to researchers across the country”, he continues.
We are currently running 19 drug discovery projects at the DDD platform: antibody, small molecule, and technology development projects. The DDD Platform strives to stay up to date with current drug discovery techniques used in the pharmaceutical industry.
Small molecule projects
Recent project exits
|Year||Principal Investigator||Affiliation||Therapeutic area||Project Type|
|2022||Marika Nestor||Uppsala University||Oncology||Antibody|
|2021||Thomas Helleday||Karolinska Institute||Oncology||Small Molecule|
|2021||Maréne Landström||Umeå University||Oncology||Antibody|
|2021||Sara Mangsbo||Uppsala University||Oncology||New Modalities|
|2020||Mattias Hallberg||Uppsala University||Neuroscience||Small Molecule|
|2020||Magnus Essand||Uppsala University||Oncology||New Modalities|
|2019||Susanne Lindqvist||Umeå University||Autoimmune Diseases||Antibody|
|2019||Sonia Lain||Karolinska Institute||Oncology||Small Molecule|
|2018||Margit Mahlapuu||Gothenburg University||Metabolic Disorders||Small Molecule|
|2018||Per Almqvist||Karolinska Institute||Neuroscience||New Modalities|
|2017||Maria Eriksdotter||Karolinska Institute||Neuroscience||Small Molecule|
|2016||Mårten Fryknäs||Uppsala University||Oncology||Small Molecule|
|2016||Johan Flygare||Linköping University||Blood Disorders||Small Molecule|
|2016||Thomas Helleday||Karolinska Institute||Oncology||Small Molecule|
Recent project exit
What a year 2021 has been for our platform! We have celebrated the exits of three very successful projects, the latest of which is Thomas Helleday’s project on MTHFD2 inhibitors. The candidate drug will be further developed in the recently started company One-carbon Therapeutics AB. Read the article here.
Activation of potassium channels
“SciLifeLab Drug Discovery & Development project owner and SciLifeLab board member Professor Fredrik Elinder was interviewed in the ionchannellibrary. He outlines the challenge of undertaking and funding drug discovery efforts in academia, the need for high-throughput ion channel measurements, and ultramarathons – all in one place.
Interested in DDDPs past new articles and achievements? Below are links to older news articles involving the work that is done at our unit.