Novartis drug discovery and development course

In October 2019, Novartis ran their Drug Discovery and Development (D3) course for 20 researchers at the University of Melbourne. This was one of only six courses offered globally by Novartis.

The two-day interactive course simulated a project team approach to drug discovery and development. Participants were assigned roles on a project team tasked with the discovery and development of a new medicine.

Throughout the course, participants encountered and made decisions about various scientific challenges and possible research paths.

The team chose a therapeutic area and drug target, searched for potential chemical leads, optimised and progressed those leads through preclinical research, demonstrated the resulting drug candidate was safe and effective in patients, advanced the drug through subsequent clinical trials, and ultimately submitted the drug for registration with the health authorities.

The team did well getting their drug to market in 15.5 years (preclinical 5.4 years, clinical trials 10.1 years, resource 132 FTEs) and with 10 years of patent life remaining.

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