Lead Identification Campaign Tracking

A Lead Identification Campaign is an effort focused on developing and executing a particular strategy for screening a set of compounds in an assay to discover compounds that interact with the target in the desired manner (agonist, antagonist, etc.) for the proposed disease mechanism. 

Types of Lead Identification Campaigns include

  • Focused (Selected Compound Set) Screening
  • High Throughput (Diversity) Screening
  • Structure Based Design
  • Fragment Based (Reduced Complexity) Screening

Each have their own pace, roughly in the order above (several weeks to many months).  They don’t start at the same time. 

Lead Identification cycle times are independent of the project stage cycle time.  Projects typically run several types of lead identification at the same time, to maximize Lead identification.  A project may reach the Commit to Lead Optimization milestone with one campaign, but will continue the other campaigns in the next stage.  Any particular Lead ID campaign cycle time may be shorter or longer than the stage of Lead Discovery.   Lead ID campaigns often run into subsequent phases, Figure 21.

Figure 21, Examples of Lead Identification Campaigns.

Prior experience can shorten a cycle time.  The longest Lead ID cycle time would occur if no prior experience with the type of target, either in-house or in the literature.  Reagents need to be prepared and an assay needs to be developed for the screen.   The shortest Lead ID cycle time would occur in a rescreen, where reagents and assay already available. taking an assay that was developed for another project and simply running it with a different set of compounds.  An in between Lead ID cycle time would be for a campaign where there is prior experience with the type of target but not this particular target; or with an assay that was developed for another project but needs to be reconfigured to reflect new knowledge or to provide a different read-out.

To keep track of a lead series once it becomes a focus of a Lead Optimization project team, it is often useful to continue with the Lead ID campaign identifiers used prior to the start of the Lead Optimization project. This then provides a clear history of the lead series, even on into preclinical and clinical development of the clinical candidates that came from the lead series. Such data allow for ready determination of which lead identification strategies are more successful in providing clinical candidates.