Project requirements

As a minimum, there are six essential requirements that projects need to meet to be considered for MedChem Australia.

  1. It must be a small molecule drug discovery project (PROTACs, molecular glues, and other “larger” small molecule approaches are eligible, peptides and biologicals are out of scope).
  2. Applications need to address unmet human medical need and must clearly demonstrate evidence linking the therapeutic target, or target pathway, to the disease of interest. MedChem Australia is therapeutic area agnostic.
  3. Project needs to be able to provide a suitable biological assay to determine the activity of compounds made during the collaboration.
  4. Applications will need to demonstrate that the project is ready for a medical chemistry program by the presence of suitable validated chemical (hit) matter as start points.
  5. Demonstration of some early level of structure-activity relationship (SAR) is required to provide confidence in the chemical matter. In addition, the chemical matter should be tractable both in structural features and synthetic route.
  6. MedChem Australia is focused on translating novel therapeutic approaches. Applications will need to clearly show differentiation to the competition. Me-too or fast-follower approaches are outside of the scope for MedChem Australia. In addition to first-in-class, best-in-class approaches with clearly defined competitive advantage and proprieties are eligible.

Examples of additional data which may strengthen the project application are shown below, but please note that such desirable and advanced data are not required to be able to submit an application.

Required Desirable Advanced
Evidence linking target to disease Multiple series with compounds IC50 〈 10 µM Established screening cascade
Small molecule drug discovery project Biophysical validation Crystal structures of target with compound
Suitable biological assay to inform chemistry (+ reagents) Cell-based assays and evidence of cellular activity PK (pharmacokinetics) data
Validated chemical matter with drug-like features Evidence of cellular target engagement Pharmacological proof of concept
Early SAR and tractable chemistry Selectivity position defined and early data obtained IP position created (not patents)
Differentiation Understanding of physicochemical properties and in vitro metabolic stability Early safety profiling