European Medicinal Chemistry Leaders in Industry (EMCL) – On the Status and Future of Medicinal Chemistry Research in Europe

Posted on 18 May 2023


The status of industrial Medicinal Chemistry was discussed with European Medicinal Chemistry Leaders from large to mid-sized pharma and CRO companies as well as biotechs. The chemical modality space has expanded recently from small molecules to address new challenging targets. Besides the classical SAR/SPR optimization of drug molecules also their ‘greenness’ has increasing importance. The entire pharma discovery ecosystem has developed significantly. Beyond pharma and academia new key players such as Biotech and integrated CROs as well as Digital companies have appeared and are now to a large extend fueled by VC money. Digitalization is happening everywhere but surprisingly did not change speed and success rates of projects so far. Future Medicinal Chemists will still have to be excellent synthetic chemists but in addition they must be knowledgeable in new computational areas such as data sciences. Their ability to collaborate and to work in teams is key.

What is the current state of industrial Medicinal Chemistry in Europe? This question was discussed by European Medicinal Chemistry Leaders in Berlin and Nice. How has the chemical modality space expanded recently? How does digitalization effect our work? How has the pharma R&D landscape changed? Does future Medicinal Chemistry require a different skillset?

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