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The ALBORADA Drug Discovery Institute draws on rich resources from across the drug discovery landscape.

The ALBORADA Drug Discovery Institute is uniquely placed for collaborations within the University of Cambridge and the vibrant Pharma and biotech hub that is centred on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Within the Institute we have built up our core capabilities to encompass synthetic, analytical and medicinal chemistry, biochemical screening and robotics, target validation and screening, cell based systems for genetics and in vivo biology.

ALBORADA Drug Discovery Institute Chemistry

Our team of chemists is skilled in synthetic, medicinal and computational chemistry. Our collective experience comes from careers in pharma, biotech, non-profit institutes, CROs and academic drug discovery groups. We are proponents of rational drug design with heavy input from computational chemistry and application of structure-based drug design where possible.


The ADDI has a dedicated chemistry lab with 9 fume cupboards and industry-standard synthesis, purification and analysis equipment, such as automated flash chromatography and UPLC-MS. We have a dedicated reagents storage facility, housing >12k reagents, and our team has access to in-house biophysics including microscale thermophoresis.  We also have wider access to a range of facilities within the host University of Cambridge, such as high resolution NMR at the chemistry department, numerous biophysical techniques at the biochemistry department, and X-ray crystallography.

ADDI has assembled several screening libraries which are used for internal discovery programs and, in some cases, are available for sharing with other groups, especially for research into neurodegeneration and by other non-profit groups. We have a 10k pilot diversity library, a larger 123k diversity library, a 1k fragment library and 1.4k annotated compound (chemogenomic) library.

Screening team

The ADDI screening team have the skills and equipment to develop and perform large screening campaigns (>100K) across a wide range of targets. We have a variety of liquid handling equipment including the ability to dispense nL volumes and read a wide variety of endpoints including High Content Imaging with integrated automation.


Cell and molecular biology team

The Cell and Molecular biology team is responsible for developing and running studies in a variety of cell types including cell lines and primary neurons. We drive the validation work carried out at the ADDI and also contribute to the assessment of compounds developed by the chemistry team. We use a variety of technologies with a strong focus on high content imaging using our automated screening facility.


In vivo Biology

The in vivo biology group at the ADDI carries out studies to support the progression of novel molecules towards preclinical proof of concept. These range from pharmacokinetic, PK/PD and in vivo target engagement studies through to chronic efficacy studies. Additionally, we carry out in vivo validation studies for our early stage projects. We hold colonies of a range of genetically modified mouse models of neurodegeneration along with mechanistic models of autophagy and protein degradation and targeted constitutive and inducible knockout mice for key drug targets of interest. We have expertise in carrying out behavioural testing including assessment of motor function, and cognitive testing using touchscreen apparatus. Our labs are based in the University’s state of the art core animal facility which opened in 2019.