Best Practices in Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC Working Group)

Have you ever wondered how medicinal chemists work in other companies or in academia? Are there important trends or new technologies that you may have missed?

In the rapidly evolving field of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology, there are only few opportunities to share best practices among industry and academic practitioners. We can of course learn from case studies presented at conferences but wouldn’t it be great to also have material covering more general concepts? Following the initiative of Jean Quancard, the EFMC assembled a team of experienced practitioners from industry and academia. We are now addressing this exciting challenge.

  • Generating high quality chemical starting points for optimization
    • Which strategies and technologies should be used to find hits for a particular target? 
    • Which compound libraries should be screened
    • What molecular space should be covered? 
    • Once a set of validated hits is identified, how do we select the best ones to follow up for optimization? 
  • Phenotypic Drug Discovery.
  • Validating Chemical Probes.

The material we will assemble will be spread through various formats: freely accessible webinars on the EFMC youtube channel, presentations at EFMC meetings, educational slide decks for distribution and teaching. These will be made freely accessible for personal use or for use in further course material.

Hit Generation

Hit generation is a crucial step in the drug discovery process. Accessing high quality hits will greatly increase the speed and chance of success to identify drug candidates.

In the third webinar by the EFMC Best Practices in Medicinal Chemistry Working Group, we present current approaches to generate and validate hits. We also highlight the importance of having an integrated strategy combining several approaches

Phenotypic Drug Discovery (PDD)

Phenotypic drug discovery (PDD) has contributed to the discovery of many innovative drugs and has received a growing attention over the last few years.

In this second Webinar by the EFMC Best Practices in Medicinal Chemistry Working Group, we present the opportunities and challenges of phenotypic drug discovery and share best practices used in industry and academia.

Validating Chemical Probes

It’s with great pleasure that we release the first of our series on Best Practices in Medicinal Chemistry.

This one is dedicated to “validating chemical probes”. High quality chemical probes are essential to explore human biology and diseases and as chemists, we have a big role to play to ensure high quality of the published probes.


In everyone's mind, copyright broadly refers to the legal right of an owner of intellectual property, but the principles are not always limpid. Copyrights are however present at every stage of scientific research and we face their implications daily, sometime without knowing it. 

In these two slide decks, Martine Roth (Principal Trademark Attorney & Copyright at Novartis Pharma AG) briefly presents the basic of copyrights and introduces "Creative Commons", a nonprofit organization enabling the sharing and use of creative works through free legal tools.


  • Jean Quancard, Novartis, Switzerland (Chair)
  • Anders Bach, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Russell Craft, Symeres, The Netherlands
  • Brian Cox, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
  • Stéphanie Guéret, AstraZeneca-Max Planck Institute Satellite Unit, Germany
  • Ingo Hartung, Merck, Germany
  • Hannes Koolman, Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany
  • Stefan Laufer, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Josef Messinger, Orion Pharma, Finland
  • Gianluca Sbardella, University of Salerno, Italy

We also need your help!

Please contact us if you have interesting case studies relevant to the topics we are covering. These would help illustrate these concepts with additional recent examples and spread best practices through the Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology communities