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Chemicals today, drugs tomorrow: U-M's new Center for Drug Discovery
Date:8/29/2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.-- A new center at the University of Michigan will accelerate the progression to the marketplace of drugs under development at laboratories across campus.

Called the Center for the Discovery of New Medicines (CDNM), it will coordinate and support work in a range of departments and schools to streamline drug discovery and development, support the translation of early research toward patient usea gray area where funding is scarceand fully leverage the technical capabilities and intellectual resources at U-M in service of discovering the therapies of tomorrow.

"The CDNM will be a central hub for a dynamic community of researchers working on cures for devastating diseases," said Phil Hanlon, U-M povost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "Making collaborations possible and offering expert guidance throughout the process will catalyze activity in this area."

Funding for early stage drug discoveryidentifying pathways involved in disease and finding ways to interact with those pathwayshas declined in the pharmaceutical industry. The National Institutes of Health has recently increased funding for translational research, but the investment is insufficient and many projects frequently languish without the financial support to conduct the next stage of development.

The CDNM is a virtual organization founded by multiple schools and departments at U-M that are involved in biomedical research. Through rapid-access seed grants and twice-yearly pilot grant competitions, the CDNM will fund crucial steps in the drug discovery process while linking facilities that are currently unconnected.

"There is a lot of exciting work happening in drug discovery at U-M, but it's fragmented," said Rick Neubig, professor of pharmacology and director of the CDNM. "By marrying the power of chemical diversity with the broad reach and expertise of Michigan biologists, we expect a big impact."

Disease areas in which U-M is making the most imm
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Contact: Laura J. Williams
lauralw@umich.edu
734-615-4862
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

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