The drug discovery process is a long journey of finding molecules with biological activity, and currently only crude maps are available for guidance. Lessons from failures in early discovery are rarely recorded. Due to growth in academic screening through initiatives such as the NIH Molecular Libraries Initiative, pharmaceutical scientists have now re-entered public sector science and are able to share their expertise and knowledge. The purpose of the DREAM (Development of Robust Experimental Assay Methods) conference is to establish a forum where such experts can exchange ideas, critical lesson learned, and organize knowledge and protocols in to a guide for discovery assays employed in the early phases of the drug discovery process. These early phase assays are critical to the entire drug discovery process as they often set the compass that guides subsequent SAR efforts. The urgent need for improved automated discovery assays was clearly articulated by Stan Fields in an article on proteomics in the Human Genome of issue of Science in 2001. """"""""For a field so laden with razzmatazz methods, it is striking that the number one need in proteomics may be new technology. There are simply not enough assays that are sufficiently streamlined to allow the automation necessary to perform them on a genome's worth of proteins.""""""""
The DREAM conference will be a unique forum to convene editors &international subject matter experts in chemical biology &drug discovery to review existing content and solicit new content to the Assay Guidance Manual currently available on the NCGC website.