EU OPENSCREEN integrates resources to promote innovation

Seven European countries have founded the European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platforms for Chemical Biology, known as EU-OPENSCREEN. Working as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), the countries are establishing services that will aid people working in chemical biology, including drug development researchers in the pharmaceutical industry.

Laboratory assistant
© AlexRaths

The program offers researchers from Europe and around the world open access to a broad range of high technologies and tools for systematic screening of chemical substances for their biological effects. It integrates high-capacity screening platforms throughout Europe, which share a selected collection of up to 140 thousand commercial and proprietary compounds collected from European chemists. EU-OPENSCREEN's central coordinating office is in Berlin.

Germany's new Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, says of the project, "Research into natural and synthetic effective ingredients has enormous potential for all the life sciences. This shared infrastructure allows us to collate the knowledge within Europe. It will give research a new dynamic in order to develop better drugs …" The BMBF is providing about EUR 20 million for EU-OPENSCREEN for five years.

In addition to Germany, the founding countries are Finland, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Spain and the Czech Republic. A number of major German research institutes are taking part in the project, including the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin.

Innovation has helped make Germany's pharmaceutical industry a global leader. Pharmaceutical manufacturers in Germany invest 13 percent of their annual revenues in R&D, a measure that has helped Germany become a leading global exporter of pharmaceuticals.

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