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Phenomics Discovery initiative (PDi)

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The Phenomics Discovery Intitiative (PDi) is a public private consortium that aims to enhance translation of phenotypic biology into novel therapeutics for patients. The consortium is made up of pharmaceutical companies, and the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Oxford.

PDi is also a community where academic and clinical science combines with practical industrial experience, in a synergistic cost and risk sharing model, to advance drug discovery towards improved clinical outcomes.

PDi's philosophy is to develop and validate pre-competitive phenotypic assays so they can be de-risked and shared amongst partners to tackle human diseases.

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What does PDi do?

PDi selects, develops and validates pre-competitive phenotypic assays that are innovative, relevant to human disease and pertinent to the PDi pharma partners.

Assays are selected from the academic, clinical and SME communities, developed into robust assays, and run on NPSC’s industry-standard phenotypic screening platform, against a best-in-class non-proprietary chemical toolbox tailored to phenotypic screening as well as other diversity sets. NPSC delivers high quality data packages that establish the chemical entities that perturb a phenotype, aid target/pathway identification, and can provide starting points for drug discovery campaigns.

The founding member of this consortium is Janssen N.V., who explain their rationale and motivations for joining PDi in a PDi press release on the NPSC website.

Contact us to join PDi

PDi consortium workflow

Benefits to academic partners

Benefits to academic, clinicians and SME participants.

Participants can apply to PDi with either assay concepts and ideas, assays developed but in low throughput or ready-to-screen assays in 96/384 format.

Selected assays are screened free of charge - PDi covers all the costs of:

  • Assay development from concept to high throughput format. Whatever the start-point, PDi staff will work closely with the participant to ensure the biology is maintained.
  • Reagents including any requirements to generate cell lines and cell/tissue culture
  • Access to a high quality industry-standard compound collections
  • Access to world-class high content screening facilities and state of the art chemoinformatics and bioinformatics.

The generated industry standard data is owned by the applicant.

This includes knowledge of the identity of validated hit compounds. Assay development and screening results data are also shared pre-competitively between all consortium members.

Industry participants are free to use the validated assay in-house on proprietary compound sets in so-called “private” screens.
Submit an Assay to PDi

Benefits to industry

Benefits for industry partners

PDi develops and validates innovative phenotypic assays that are driven by industry needs.

  • Each partner can directly nominate 8 assays over 5 years.
  • As part of a consortium, industry partners benefit from cost and risk sharing between peers in a pre-competitive space.
  • Screening data and protocols from validated assays are shared between all consortium members.
  • Industry participants are free to use the validated assay in-house on proprietary compound sets in so-called “private” screens.
  • A PDi contract is already in place and negotiated to meet pharma needs, for an annual membership fee.
  • View full T&Cs
Contact us to join PDi
Professor Neil Carragher
The focus of the PDi consortium will be the development of novel phenotypic assays amenable to high throughput screening, with the goal of identifying new pathways and mechanisms for drug discovery, by employing systems with higher potential for translation into the clinic. The phenotypic screens we will use are more relevant to patients and their disorders and as such the goals of the PDI are to advance drug discovery towards improved clinical outcomes through joint academic-industry collaboration".
Professor Neil Carragher Chief Scientific Officer - PDi

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NPSC is a facility run and operated by the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Oxford, which are registered UK-based charities. 

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