9th Fragment-based Drug Discovery Meeting

9th RSC-BMCS Fragment-based Drug Discovery Meeting

Sunday 3rd – Tuesday 5th March, 2024

Sunday’s Meet the Experts session: 15:00-17:20 with Anna Hirsch, Dan Erlanson, and David Rees

Hinxton Hall, Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge

Important links and downloads
Twitter hashtag – #Fragments24
To register for the meeting ONLINE, click here
To sponsor meeting, click here
To download first announcement poster, click here
To download second announcement poster, click here
To download third announcement poster, click here

The aim of the 9th RSC-BMCS Fragment-based Drug Discovery meeting will be to continue the focus on case studies in Fragment-based Drug Discovery that have delivered compounds to late stage medicinal chemistry, preclinical or clinical programmes. The Fragment series was started in 2007 and continues with this theme in having over three-quarters of the presentations focused on case studies. This will be complemented by technology progress in high concentration, NMR, SPR and X-ray screening.

Who should attend
This conference is suitable for scientists including chemists, biophysicists, structural biologists, etc., with either existing experience of fragments or wanting to learn about this exciting approach to drug discovery. This international meeting attracts delegates from the UK, several mainland European counties, as well as from the USA, Japan, China and South Korea.

Want to become a member?
To join the RSC in order to qualify for discounted registration fees at all RSC, please follow this RSC link.

Bursaries – Bursary applications are now closed
The RSC-BMCS are offering a small number of bursaries to attend the meeting in person. Applications are open to PhD and post-doctoral applicants studying at academic institutions or non-profit institutions. Preference will be given to members of the RSC-BMCS. Bursary applications are also invited from RSC or EFMC members who are of working age, but currently unemployed, and from those who may have difficulty in funding themselves or whose organisations may have difficulty in funding their attendance. 

Meet the Experts Session
On Sunday 3rd March there will be “Meet the Experts” interactive session and it is included in your delegate package. The Meet the Experts in Fragment-Based Drug Discovery (FBDD) is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the principles and applications of FBDD in drug discovery. The session leaders Anna Hirsch, Dan Erlanson, and David Rees will present and discuss FBDD’s approach that focuses on identifying small, low molecular weight fragments as starting points for drug design, leading to the discovery of launched drugs. The session will encourage questions and answers from the audience in an informal atmosphere.  After the interactive session, a buffet dinner will be served in the Hinxton Hall conference centre.


Sunday 3rd March
In-person only

15:00-17:20Meet the Experts session: with Anna Hirsch, Dan Erlanson, and David Rees
19:00Buffet Dinner

Monday 4th March

9:00Registration and Refreshments
10:20Opening remarks
Marianne Schimpl, AstraZeneca, UK
10:30Leveraging fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) to inform other screening platforms: How to describe, inventory, and incorporate fragment pharmacophores into picks from other platforms
Justin Dietrich, Abbvie, US
11:00Automation, automation: Application of automated synthesis to off-DNA PAC-FragmentDEL hits and crude reaction screens for rapid fragment elaboration
Lucie Guetzoyan, Vernalis, UK
Session 2
Chair: Gordon Saxty, NS-MC Consulting Ltd, UK
11:30New Oncology targets from Fragment Leads
John Spencer, University of Sussex, UK
12:00Flash poster presentations

12:00 Design, synthesis and structural characterization of potent inhibitors of Plasmodium protein in malaria parasite
Solène Audbert, CBS, France

12:02 Target Validation of Bacterial E3 Ligases Using Chemical and Structural Biology
Cassandra Kennedy, The Francis Crick Institute, UK

12:04 DragonFold: A Deep Learning Protein-Ligand Co-Folding Platform for Fragment-to-Lead Drug Discovery
Geoffrey Smith, CHARM Therapeutics, UK

12:06 Chemical Biology Approaches to Explore the Ligandability of TRIM E3 Ligases
Katherine McPhie, The Francis Crick Institute, UK

12:08 Development of antiviral toolbox compounds targeting the Nsp3 Macrodomain 1 of SARS-CoV-2
Jasmin Cara Aschenbrenner, Diamond Light Source, UK

12:10 A structure-guided, fragment-based approach to developing novel splicing modulators
Imogen Andrews, The Institute of Cancer Research, UK

12:12 Advancing Fragment-Based Drug Discovery in the ASAP Consortium with Fragmenstein
Matteo Paolo Ferla, University of Oxford, UK

12:14 Fragment Library Design at Astex
Juan Bueren-Calabuig, Astex, UK

12:16 Large-scale in silico Fragment Screening Based on Absolute Free Energy Perturbation (AB-FEP+)
Antonija Kuzmanic, Schrodinger, UK

12:18 The Development of Next-Generation Reactive Electrophiles for Beyond Cysteine Covalent Drug Discovery
Alfred Doherty, GSK, UK

12:20 Identification of covalent fragment hits via Ultra-High Throughput Mass Spectrometry Screening
William Mahy, MSD, UK

12:22 A ‘direct-to-biology’ platform for the rapid identification and optimisation of novel, irreversible antivirals
Harry Wilders, GSK, UK

12:24 Fragment Binding Sites, Poses and Affinities with Grand Canonical Nonequilibrium Candidate Monte Carlo
William Poole, University of Southampton, UK

12:26 Screening for Fragment Molecular Glues
Pim de Vink, Zobio B.V., Netherlands

12:28 Specific inhibition of CK2α from an anchor outside the active site
Paul Brear, University of Cambridge, UK

12:30 Crystal based lead identification by fast fragment and compound screening at the Paul Scherrer Institute: Swiss Light Source and SwissFE
Dennis Stegmann, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland

12:32 Strategies towards novel inhibitor classes and small molecule modulators acting on AAA+ ATPase p97
Sebastian Bothe, University of Würzburg, Germany
12:30Lunch, exhibition, posters (odd-numbers) and networking
Session 3
Chair: Iva Lukac, Charnwood Discovery, UK
13:30Fragment-based drug discovery approaches to the development of protein-protein interaction inhibitors
John Skidmore, University of Cambridge, UK
14:00An NMR Toolbox for Drug Design
Gerald Platzer, MAG-Lab, Austria
14:30Current and emerging opportunities for fragment-based drug design assisted with molecular simulations
Julien Michel, University of Edinburgh, UK
15:00Refreshments, exhibition and networking
Session 4
Chair: Mary Wheldon, University of Dundee, UK
15:30It's a small world
Chris Swain, Cambridge MedChem Consulting, UK
16:15Panel Discussion
Mike Hann, GSK, Helena Danielson, Uppsala University, Chris Murray, Astex, Christopher Smith, Mirati Therapeutics, Olga Tarkhanova, Chemspace
17:15Drinks Reception, exhibition, posters (even-numbers) and networking
19:00Conference Dinner

Tuesday 5th March

Session 5
Chair: Alison Woolford, Astex Pharmaceuticals, UK
9:00Structure-based fragment merging and linking affording potent and selective inhibitors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase LasB
Anna Hirsch, Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Germany
9:30Discovery of inhibitors targeting wild-type and a drug-resistant mutant of c-MET
Iacovos Michaelides and Gavin Collie, AstraZeneca, UK
10:00Fragment Based Drug Discovery of Allosteric SH2 Domain-Containing Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase-2 (SHP2) Inhibitors
Nicola Wilsher, Astex, UK
10:30Refreshments, exhibition and networking
Session 6
11:00Deconstruction of HTS hits into fragments as a route to discover potent BCL6 inhibitors and degraders
Rob Van Monfort, Institute of Cancer Research, UK
11:30Discovery of potent SOS1 inhibitors through complementary use of FBDD and HTS
Martina Schaefer, Nuvisan, Germany
Fragment based drug design approaches applied to IL-1β: from hit identification to cellular proof of concept
Anna Vulpetti, Novartis, Switzerland
12:30Lunch, exhibition, all posters and networking
Session 7
Chair: Emma Grant, GSK, UK
13:30Reversible Dual-Covalent Molecular Locking of the 14-3-3/ERRγ Protein–Protein Interaction as a Molecular Glue Drug Discovery Approach
Peter Cossar, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
14:00From fragment to allosteric activator – targeting a novel metabolic regulator using FBDD
Matthew Calabrese, Pfizer, UK
14:30Refreshments, exhibition and networking
Session 8
Chair: Gordon Saxty, NS-MC Consulting Ltd, UK
15:00Reactive fragments in Chemical Biology at GSK
Jonathan Pettinger, GSK, UK
15:30Covalent fragment-based drug discovery
Dan Erlanson, Frontier Medicines, US
16:15Closing Remarks
Mary Wheldon, University of Dundee, UK

Speaker Presentations:
It’s a small world
Chris Swain, Cambridge MedChem Consulting, UK


In person registration is now CLOSED.

In person registration fees
RSC Member* £396
Non-Member £495
RSC Student ** Member* (Undergraduate and post-graduate)  £205
Student** Non-Member (Undergraduate and post-graduate) £253

Online attendance registration fees
RSC Member* £230
Non-Member £287
RSC Student ** Member* (Undergraduate and post-graduate)  £115
Student** Non-Member (Undergraduate and post-graduate) £138
Company group virtual rate (4 people can attend) £800

* Member is a paid-up member of the RSC
** Student rates apply to undergraduate and post-graduate students only, but not post-doctoral students.

Call for Abstracts
Abstract submissions are now closed! 

Sponsorship/Exhibition Opportunities 

Bookings are now open, click here to sponsor or exhibit at the meeting

Exhibition Package is priced at £1,200 and includes: ** NOW FULLY BOOKED!

– One stand personnel with access to technical sessions
– Stand space measuring 3 metres wide x 2 metres deep
– Table measuring 240 cm wide x 80 cm deep and chair
– Electrical and Wi-Fi access
– Your logo and full promotional page in the pdf of the delegate handbook
– Your logo in the rolling slides, shown during the breaks
– Any additional stand personnel will have to be booked as delegates

Email blast details** NOW FULLY BOOKED!
One promotional email sent to meeting delegates on your chosen date prior to the meeting.

We are also seeking sponsorship from organisations supporting the low registration fees offered to students. You can support and sponsor this meeting by clicking here.

Sponsorship includes
-Your logo in the pre-event announcements
-Your logo in the pdf of the delegate handbook
-Your logo in the rolling slides, shown during the breaks
-Your logo included in the communication email to delegates


We are grateful to our confirmed exhibitors for their valued support.



Poster listing
We are pleased to share full poster listing ahead of the conference in March, click here to download the listing.

Organising Committee
Emma Grant, GSK
Iva Lukac, Charnwood Discovery
Gordon Saxty, NS-MC Consulting LTD (Chair)
Marianne Schimpl, AstraZeneca
Mary Wheldon, University of Dundee (Treasurer)
Alison Woolford, Astex Pharmaceuticals

Secretariat Contact
Hg3 Conferences Ltd
+44 (0)1423 529333