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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 10/28/10

SRI International

SRI International is an independent nonprofit research and development organization with decades of experience in successfully identifying, developing, and advancing novel compounds from “Idea to IND.”

SRI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is dedicated to the fight against cancer through the discovery and development of innovative therapies to alleviate patient suffering and save lives. Composed of biologists and medicinal chemists with expertise in fundamental and applied cancer research, SRI’s CCR is focused on the study of the tumor microenvironment, tumor metabolism, and aberrant signaling pathways that cause cancer. Through collaborative partnerships, the Center has been successful in generating an extensive drug pipeline translating discoveries into beneficial treatments. The Center has one drug on the market (bexarotene, Targretin®) and another in the FDA approval process (pralatrexate, PDX®). In addition, SRI’s CCR has advanced several drug candidates into clinical trials and is investigating multiple innovative discovery programs in earlier stages of R&D.

SRI International’s Drug Discovery Process

SRI’s Comprehensive Chemical Biology Screening Center (CSC), together with the its Chemical Diversity Center and Specialized Assay Center offers integrated processes that will advance ideas from basic research into preclinical development. These include: identification and validation of novel targets, development and implementation of biochemical and cell-based screening assays, identification of hits, selection of leads guided by targeted and functional assays, exploration of SAR with medicinal chemistry, and lead optimization through iterative cycles of testing for drug-like properties and potency.

To accelerate the drug discovery process, SRI works with BioComputing Group, Inc., using computational screening, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization tools with particular emphasis on structure-guided drug discovery. The best candidates will be tested in mouse models of human cancer (xenograft models). PK/ADME tests will also be conducted and chemical/physical properties will be measured. Specialized assays, such as multilayer cell cultures and tumor spheroids will be used to evaluate effects of tumor-like microenvironments on the efficacy of experimental therapies, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and rational combinations. Novel compounds will be designed, synthesized, and screened in an iterative process until compounds are identified that meet the Target Product Profile, and from these, candidates for preclinical development will be selected.