Since our launch in April 2010, the Drug Discovery and Development (D3) unit at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) has dedicated itself to discovering drugs that get to the core of 21st Century disease. We take inspiration from an Italian history of pharmaceutical innovation that deserves to be remembered.
As large pharmaceutical companies experience a decrease in innovation, and academic laboratories - though highly inventive - focus more on basic science than on the commercial validation of their discoveries, D3 successfully channels scientific endeavor towards commercially viable projects with real-world impact.
At D3 we don't discover me-too drugs (those similar to existing medicines), nor are we a me-too biotechnology company. We are a leading public institution that is structured as an entrepreneurial start-up. This helps our interdisciplinary teams, which are led by talented Project Leaders, to collaborate and share knowledge. This is vital to the drug-hunting process as multi-layered decision making is eliminated.
We bring innovation to the table along with the process of validation to de-risk discoveries, which is crucial for capturing the full economic and societal value of a scientific advance. We have responded to recent shifts in the business model of the pharmaceutical industry by creating an environment where academia and industry can best collaborate to speed up the development of basic science discoveries into real-life applications.
I am confident that D3's culture and commitment to forming successful partnerships will enable us to discover the drugs that will defeat some of the world's most debilitating chronic diseases.
Daniele Piomelli, PhD