February 20, 2015


SUBJECT:    The UC San Diego Drug Development Pipeline

We are pleased to announce the pending launch of the UC San Diego Drug Development Pipeline. The intent of the Pipeline is to provide the experimental steps needed to progress a bioactive small molecule or natural product to clinical candidacy. Initially, the UC San Diego Pipeline is intended to support projects targeting rare or neglected diseases such as less common cancers, heart diseases, autoimmune or inflammatory diseases, neurological diseases and infections. The initial exclusion of "mainstream" diseases presumes they are more readily supported or are already partnered by the pharmaceutical industry for development. Eventually, we envision a broader availability of the UC San Diego Pipeline services to any discovery project as a way to add value and derisk them for potential partnerships.

Below are a figure of the Pipeline and an entry form to complete for consideration by our Selection Committee comprised of Michael Gilson, Thomas Hermann, Teri Melese and ourselves. Project selection for the Pipeline effort will consider the following criteria; availability of a medium throughput in vitro assay to identify hits and measure dose response, a medium throughput cellular assay (unless the initial assay is already "phenotypic"), an established synthetic chemistry collaborator committed to synthesizing compounds for the project, or funding for compound synthesis by a CRO, and an animal model of disease. Furthermore, to take advantage of structure-based drug design and maximize computational design support, the structure of the drug target or significant sequence homology to a known structure would be desirable. We understand that not all projects may have reached this point. We have therefore established a consultation service to help you identify a chemistry collaborator and/or a biochemist/structural biologist to assist with the biochemistry and co-crystallization necessary for a structure-based drug design project.

It is envisioned that at the end of this pipeline your compound will fit a drug target product profile, have the supporting data required for pre-IND FDA filing status, and potentially be selected for further clinical development through collaboration with CTRI personnel.

Ultimately the cost to the investigator will be purchase of the animals necessary for pharmacokinetic and safety analysis and some supplies for in vitro and PK/safety screens. However to validate the pipeline we are offering to shepherd two projects through each step without cost. Please contact our Project Manager, Victoria Feher, by March 1, 2015 at for a copy of the pipeline and an entry application for these projects.

Our Selection Committee expects to choose two projects to initiate the pipeline by April 1, 2015. Once the pipeline is validated we will prioritize all other projects following discussions with the individual investigators.

We thank the UC San Diego Health Sciences Office and Vice Chancellor, the Center for Drug Discovery Innovation, and the Office of Research Affairs for supporting this campus-wide endeavor.

James H. McKerrow, PhD, MD
SSPPS Dean and
Associate Vice Chancellor of
Health Sciences