European Commission acknowledges biggest European drug discovery project “European Lead Factory” (ELF) – Taros Chemicals runs the chemistry
Taros Chemicals is a privately owned contract research organization and has been serving the chemistry needs of pharmaceutical, chemical and biotech companies since its inception in 1999. More than 10.000 synthesis, research and process chemistry projects have successfully been delivered to the ever-growing global customer base. Furthermore, Taros is very involved in regional (ERDF NRW), national (BMWF / BMWI) and international (EU Horizon 2020) collaborative research projects. Since 2013 Taros is leading the chemistry activities as an executive member and chemical consortium leader of the largest single-funded European drug discovery project to date, the European Lead Factory (ELF) with a total budget of 196 million EUR.
In February 2018 the ELF received great recognition once again. Under the topic “Success Stories” within its public relations the European Commission officially acknowledges the impact and potential of the ELF. Close to the end of this 5-year-project the Commission underlined the leading role of the ELF in providing know-how, infrastructure and, most importantly, tangible starting points in order to accelerate the development of innovative medicines for the benefit of patients.
Dr. Dimitrios Tzalis, CEO of TAROS Chemicals and Head of Chemistry of the ELF: "This major project is a great example of how a public-private partnership is changing the way the pharmaceutical industry develops new drugs. The close collaboration between creative researchers at European universities, dynamic SMEs and the expertise of the pharmaceutical industry will not only increase the chances of success in discovering new medicines by European researchers, but also add value by building specialized research capacity in Europe."
About the European Lead Factory:
The ELF is a very successful public-private partnership in drug discovery, involving 30 partners from science and practice across the EU, including small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as pharmaceutical companies and academic research organizations. In Germany, these include Taros, the Lead Discovery Center, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology in Dortmund and Bayer AG. The aim of the ELF is to accelerate the development of new drugs across the EU, thereby closing the existing innovation gap between basic academic research and the application-oriented development of medicines for patients in need worldwide more efficiently. In its role as an ELF executive member and leader of the chemistry consortium, Taros is responsible for managing the whole chemistry consortium to develop and produce the ELF public compound library (200.000 lead-like compounds).
The ELF has created an integrated platform which is providing an innovative range of free services, expertise and a huge collection of compounds for researchers who are developing new drugs. The ELF target portfolio covers a wide range of therapeutic areas with high societal relevance, also including neglected and rare diseases. The project gives European drug discovery programmes a boost and aids their progression. For example, two start-up companies were established based on ELF results.