Members of the University of Virginia School of Medicine are preparing for their first drug forum. It's a panel discussion about how to get new medicine approved for patients more quickly.
"There's a critical need for new drugs, especially for neglected diseases. It's a very complicated process, expensive process, it's inherently inefficient," said UVA Medical School professor John Lazo.
The Drug Discovery Forum is for people throughout the University of Virginia community, as well as biotech companies, and anyone interested in the topic.
"We recognize that we needed a way to get these activities together. Get the people more familiar with one another, so that we can amplify what everybody is doing by virtue of cooperation, collaboration, and just building the activity at the university," said UVA Medical School Professor Erik Hewlett.
During the forum, experts will discuss the phases of drug discovery: optimization and delivery, clinical trials, and commercialization. "We have a social responsibility, we believe, to participate in that. Drug companies do certain things very well, but this is a place where we can really make a difference in terms of this whole process," Lazo said.
The keynote speaker is Bryan Roth, the director of the NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The event takes place Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Claude Moore Medical Education Building, near the UVA Medical Center.
Organizers say the seats have already filled up, but walk-ins are welcome.