BSi NeuroTranslational Drug Discovery Program

Therapeutic Approaches: Small Molecules, Biomarkers

Therapeutic Areas of Expertise: Neurological Disorders, Ophthalmology, Psychiatric Disorders, Pain, Neuro-oncology

Center/Program Highlights:The BSi Drug Discovery Program was initiated at Johns Hopkins in 2010 with a staff of twenty drug discovery scientists, the majority with substantial experience in the pharmaceutical industry. The team has expertise in medicinal chemistry, pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism, animal pharmacology/toxicology, and assay development. The team is equipped with state of the art laboratories and equipment, and is located in the new Johns Hopkins BioTechnology Center on the JHU School of Medicine campus. The mission of the team is to work collaboratively with the >500 JHU brain scientists to translate faculty's basic science discoveries into small molecule therapeutics. In its first three years of operation, the team:

  1. (1) initiated five integrated drug discovery programs in collaboration with JHU faculty including inhibition of DAAO(schizophrenia), inhibition of glutaminase (neurodegeneration/cancer), agonism/antagonism of MrgX1 (pain/itching), inhibition of GCPII (peripheral neuropathy) and inhibition of system xc- (neuroinflammation),
    (2) aided ongoing faculty translational research with over 100 tool compound syntheses, pharmacokinetic studies, and assistance with high throughput assay designs,
    (3) submitted 29 drug discovery grant applications of which 22 have been awarded to date totaling >$14M,
    (4) submitted 6 provisional patent applications,
    (5) initiated two graduate level Drug Discovery courses,
    (6) provided drug discovery training opportunity for 12 students/fellows,
    (7) obtained a Pharma corporate partnership to develop small molecule GCPII therapeutics,
    (8) spun out a new company, Cerecor, which raised >$30M
    (9) established a unique HTS partnership with Eisai and initiated the first two screening campaigns, and
    (10) initiated the first BSi NeuroTranslational Grant Program to enhance translational activities on Hopkins campus.

Sources of Funding: Federal/State, Philanthropy, Industry Partnerships, Disease Foundations, Revenue


Institutional Affiliation(s): Johns Hopkins University

Brain Science Institute NeuroTranslational Ce
855 North Wolfe Street, Suite 278
Maryland, 21205
United States

Center/Program Start Date: 2010

Number of Employees: 20