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Drug discovery and advanced therapies


Catarina Brito (ITQB NOVA), Filipa Marcelo (NOVA FCT), João Conde (NMS) and Pedro Cravo (IHMT NOVA)


The discovery and development of drugs, biopharmaceuticals, and advanced therapies are essential for identifying new or improved treatments for human diseases. In this context, the concerted and integrative application of scientific knowledge, cutting-edge technologies, and collaborative efforts are vital to finding, designing, testing, optimizing, and developing bioprocesses for novel medicines that can prevent symptoms and cure various medical conditions.   
NOVA Saúde Drug Discovery and Advanced Therapies Group aims to:

  1. Potentiate the excellence of research on the disease mechanisms and targets; drug mechanisms of action, metabolism, and delivery strategies; and design and development of advanced therapies.
  2. Promote synergies between NOVA researchers and the integration of innovative technologies and methods, to enhance the efficiency and quality of discovery and development of drugs and advanced therapies.
  3. Reinforce the collaboration between NOVA academic institutions, the pharmaceutical industry, and clinical partners to allow a more efficient translation of scientific findings into novel and effective treatments for patients.
  4. Foster scientific, market-oriented, and social discussions by organizing events targeting national and international stakeholders.
  5. Encourage the submission of collaborative projects among NOVA research groups interested in drug discovery and development of advanced therapies.  
  6. Facilitate access to cutting-edge infrastructure and platforms to support the full spectrum of drug discovery and development activities, from basic research to clinical trials, ensuring that researchers have the tools necessary to advance their work efficiently.
  7. Promote interdisciplinary education and training programs to prepare the next generation of scientists and professionals for drug discovery and therapy. This could include curating and making available information on workshops, seminars, and courses that cover the latest scientific advancements, regulatory considerations, and ethical implications for drug development.
  8. Work with Innovation Offices within NOVA for the implementation of a robust framework for intellectual property management and commercialization to ensure that innovations developed within NOVA can be effectively protected and translated into therapeutic solutions that benefit society. This would also facilitate partnerships with investors and biotech companies to introduce novel therapies to the market.
  9. Advance public engagement and patient involvement in drug discovery to ensure that research and development activities align with patient needs and public health priorities. This could involve community outreach programs, patient advocacy group collaboration, and incorporating patient feedback into R&D strategies.
  10. Commit to sustainability and ethical practices in all aspects of drug discovery and development, from environmentally friendly laboratory practices to ethical considerations in clinical trials. This commitment should also encompass efforts to ensure equitable access to developed therapies, addressing global health disparities.