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Torrey Pines Institute Welcomes New Collaborators to the Florida Drug Discovery Acceleration Program

Tuesday, March 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Torrey Pines Institute Welcomes New Collaborators to the Florida Drug Discovery Acceleration Program 


Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies (TPIMS) is pleased to welcome the newest collaborators to the Florida Drug Discovery Acceleration Program (FLDDAP).   Chad Dickey, Ph.D., Associate Professor with the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute within USF Health is the 40th Principal Investigator within Florida to join the FLDDAP.  Dr. Dickey's research is focused on more than 15 neurological diseases, collectively termed "tauopathies" which includes Alzheimer's disease.  Dr. Dickey's lab is also working in the areas of glaucoma and depression.


Appu Rathinavelu, Ph.D., Executive Director, Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research at Nova Southeastern University, Associate Dean, Institutional Planning and Development, and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences becomes the 41st Principal Investigator in the FLDDAP.  Since 1992, Dr. Rathinavelu has been involved in cancer research, focusing today on new cancer therapeutics and diagnostic methods for breast, lung, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers.  Dr. Rathinavelu's lab is also studying gene defects and cellular mechanisms that enhance metastasis and increase drug resistance.

The FLDDAP allows TPIMS to share its large collection of compound libraries and associated screening technologies to Florida Institutions to accelerate drug discovery and commercialization statewide. Since July 1, 2013, the program has been funded by the state of Florida and administered through the Florida Department of Health.  With the addition of these two collaborators, the FLDDAP now includes 41 Principal Investigators from 15 Florida Institutes.  The FLDDAP is investigating 54 unique, biological targets with the potential to identify hit compounds for development into therapeutics to treat human, animal, and agricultural diseases.  To date one patent application has been filed and over $10 million in joint grant proposals have been submitted.  Two grants have recently been funded, $800,000 for 2 years from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to Christopher Cogle, MD at the University of Florida and $1.8 million for 5 years from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to Barry Rosen, Ph.D., at Florida International University.



Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies (TPIMS) is a non-profit institute dedicated to conducting basic research to advance the understanding of human disease and the improvement of human health.  TPIMS' scientists conduct research in fields associated with a wide variety of major medical conditions, including addiction, Alzheimer's, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, infectious disease, inflammatory disorders, multiple sclerosis, obesity, pain management, regenerative medicine and new methods for drug discovery. 


These extraordinarily effective and efficient methods for drug discovery are currently being utilized within the Florida Drug Discovery Acceleration Program, a program comprised of collaborations between TPIMS and Florida research institutes. The TPIMS collections of compounds currently consist of over seven million small molecules and billions of peptides.  The technologies developed at TPIMS allow for the screening of these collections by testing only hundreds of samples, greatly increasing the speed and efficiency of screening. To date, over 50 unique, biological targets are under investigation with a current failure rate of less than 10%.  The goal of the program is to identify hit compounds which will advance programs to advanced stages of funding through grants and/or commercial licenses.

Greg Welmaker, Ph.D., MBA
Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies
11350 SW Village Pkwy
Port St. Lucie, FL  34987
Phone: (772) 345-4587


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