7:00 am Check in & Light Breakfast

7:55 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Maximizing Traditional & Novel Biophysical Techniques in Hit Identification & Validation: Tailored Approaches for Optimal Lead Discovery

This theme delves into dynamic and complex realm of hit identification, blending the tried-and-true with cutting-edge innovations. Explore tailored biophysical approaches, leveraging large screening libraries and embrace fragment-based drug discovery.


Navigate the intricacies of hit discovery to better equip you to drug high value, hard to drug targets.

8:00 am Beyond Copy-Paste to Tailored Biophysical Approaches for Purposeful Lead Discovery

  • Prakash Palde Associate Research Fellow and Sample Biophysics Logistics Group Lead, Pfizer


  • Addressing the prevalent copy-paste tendencies in biophysical techniques across drug discovery programs without considering program-specific nuances
  • Highlighting the importance of fit-for-purpose strategies to avoid one-size-fits-all approaches
  • Identifying criteria for evaluating the suitability of biophysical techniques to tailor approaches to unique requirements for a particular drug discovery program

8:30 am Leveraging Biophysics for Efficient and Effective DNA Encoded Library Screening

  • Joshua Alper Senior Director, Biomolecular Discovery, Magnet Biomedicine


  • Delve into the unique benefits and challenges associated with utilizing DNA-encoded libraries for high-throughput hit identification
  • Explore the integration of advanced biophysical techniques such as with cryo-EM, thermal shift assays (nanoDSF), fluorescence-based proximity assays (trFRET, alphaLISA) in screening large libraries for meaningful interactions
  • Strategies for enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of hit discovery

9:00 am Biophysical & Structural Biology Methods Enable Fragment-based Ligand Discovery


  • Powerful biophysical and structural biology tools enable the study of large numbers of fragments and are opening up new possibilities in the treatment of various diseases.
  • Here we report the results of a conventional and a covalent Fragment Screening and show how orthogonal biophysical and structural methods enable rapid identification, characterization, and optimization of fragments. 

9:30 am Application of Fragment-Based Screening & Fragment-Based Drug Discovery to the Development of Cancer Therapeutics

  • Dirksen Bussiere Associate Vice President - Molecular Pharmacology, Lilly Oncology


  • Unveiling the potential of Fragment-Based Screening (FBS) in identifying hits on challenging targets
  • Leveraging NMR and SPR in understanding molecular interactions and real-time detection of molecular binding events
  • Best practices to overcome the weak interactions of fragment-based screening

10:00 am Presentation Q&A & Panel Discussion: Overcoming Challenges in HIT Discovery with Innovative Applications of Biophysics

  • Dirksen Bussiere Associate Vice President - Molecular Pharmacology, Lilly Oncology
  • Prakash Palde Associate Research Fellow and Sample Biophysics Logistics Group Lead, Pfizer
  • Oscar Huang Associate Director - Biophysics, Lyterian Therapeutics
  • Joshua Alper Senior Director, Biomolecular Discovery, Magnet Biomedicine


Hear from our expert speakers on overcoming the multifaceted challenges in HIT Discovery by utilizing a range of innovative approaches. Delve into discussions surrounding the tailored biophysical approaches, leveraging DNA encoded libraries and fragment-based screening. Hear experiences, insights, and strategies for navigating the complexities of optimizing hit identification while balancing efficiency and minimizing false positives

10:30 am Speed Networking


Seize this opportunity to engage with a diverse spectrum of biophysicists from the biopharmaceutical industry, this is your chance to forge connections, exchange ideas, and build collaborative networks. Don’t miss this chance to expand your network and explore the synergies that arise from diverse perspectives in the world of biophysics.

11:15 am Morning Break

11:30 am Validating Hits & Ensuring Meaningful Binding to Filter Through the Noise

  • Divyani Paul Biophysics Senior Scientist - Biology & Discovery, Merck & Co


  • Highlighting the importance of cross collaboration of biophysical data and structural insights to unravel the binding mechanisms of identified hits
  • Exploring biophysical validation techniques such SPR for real-time validation of hit binding, native surface interference for assessing hits in their natural environment
  • Importance of versatility and adaptability of techniques and applications due to significant differences in properties including size, charge, and hydrophobicity of hits

12:00 pm In-solution Kinetics Using Flow Induced Dispersion Technology (FIDA)


  • Based on “1st principle” biophysics, Flow Induced Dispersion Technology, FIDA, bridges the gap between structural information and functional information of biomolecules. Very recently, FIDA developed the capability of generating kon and koff rates in a fully in-solution assay without any immobilisation to surfaces.
  • This presentation will introduce the fundamental concept of FIDA and how in-solution kinetics is made possible.

12:15 pm Presentation Q&A & Panel Discussion: Triaging Hits Exploring the Decision-Making Process for the Prioritization of Hits

  • Asad Taherbhoy Director, Drug Discovery, Foghorn Therapeutics
  • Divyani Paul Biophysics Senior Scientist - Biology & Discovery, Merck & Co


Hear from industry experts as they share strategies for utilizing diverse data sets encompassing biophysical, biochemical, and cellular information for integrated decision making. Gain practical insights into risk mitigation strategies, balancing the potential of hits with uncertainties in target engagement and selectivity, to enhance the efficiency of your drug discovery endeavors.

12:30 pm Lunch Break

Navigating the Nuanced Decision-Making Process to Streamline Hit-to-Lead Optimization

Join us as we delve into the strategies, innovations, and considerations that guide scientists through the intricate web of choices in the optimization stage, paving the way for the next generation of therapeutics.


This theme explores the nuanced aspects of decision-making in the crucial transition from hits to leads where decisions shape the trajectory of drug development.

1:30 pm Approaches for Characterizing the Structure of Novel Targets

  • Aaron Frank Director & Head Of Computational Chemistry, Arrakis Therapeutics Inc.


  • Brief examination of the challenges posed by targets with limited or uncharacterized mechanisms of action
  • Demonstration of how structural biology and biophysics techniques contribute to gaining insights into target structures

2:00 pm Synergizing Biophysics & Structural Biology to Enhance Hit-to-Lead Optimization


  • Exploring methods to seamlessly integrate real-time dynamics captured by biophysical techniques with static structural information to paint a bigger picture for lead optimization
  • Strategies for merging structural and dynamic data for more informed drug discovery decision making

2:30 pm Navigating the Unique Biophysical Profiling Challenges of Membrane Associated Targets During Optimization


  • Exploring the unique challenges of characterizing membrane proteins when isolated from natural membrane environment including expression, purification, and stability
  • Exploring negative stain and differential scanning fluorimetry in providing insights into protein stability and conformational flexibility and other innovative techniques tailored for membrane proteins
  • Leveraging structural studies of membrane-associated targets to inform and guide lead optimization strategies

3:00 pm Afternoon Break

3:30 pm Decision-Making Strategies in Hit-to-Lead Optimization: From Data to Success

  • Nicholas Larsen Senior Director of Biophysics and Structural Biology, Kestrel Therapeutics Inc


  • Strategies for effectively utilizing biophysical data, such as binding kinetics and thermodynamics, to inform decision-making in hit-to-lead optimization campaigns
  • Understand how to navigate crucial decision points using robust biophysical data throughout hit-to-lead optimization campaigns
  • Discover the nuances of optimizing biophysical assays tailored for relevant hit-to-lead conditions

Back to the Future: Enhancing Predictive Power of Biophysical Techniques to Translate In Vitro & In Vivo Findings Back to Drug Discovery

Explore how mimicking internal environments facilitates a closer replication of oligomeric status in in vivo conditions, lessons learned from in vitro to in vivo discrepancies and cutting-edge techniques for assessing and validating biophysical methods

4:00 pm Roundtable Discussion: Analysing Lessons Learnt from In Vitro to In Vivo Discrepancies to Traverse the Translational Gap


Join this interactive session to be part of the discussion, explore aligning in vitro biophysical predictions with in vivo

observations in drug discovery. Break away into smaller groups to discuss the challenges associated with mimicking internal environments in biophysical assays. Uncover root cause analysis strategies, and best practices for enhancing translational predictability of biophysical data.

4:30 pm Navigating Confidence Discrepancies: Validating Biophysical Methods

  • Alexey Rak Head of BioStructure and Biophysics, Scientific Fellow, Sanofi


  • Exploring the importance of cross-validating results obtained from different orthogonal techniques and how these serve as validation tools
  • Insights into establishing a strong foundation for confidence in experimental outcomes to build confidence in biophysical and biochemical readouts
  • Emphasizing the dynamic nature of validation and the need for adaptability

5:00 pm Chairs Closing Remarks

5:05 pm Poster Session & Drink Reception


Explore the latest breakthroughs and innovations in biophysics for drug discovery whilst showcasing your own cutting-edge projects in our engaging poster session. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect, learn, and exchange insights during this dynamic relaxed session.

6:00 pm End of Day