8.00 am Check-In Opens & Light Breakfast

9.00 am – 12.00 pm Workshop A

Harnessing Biophysical Screening Methods to Effectively Interpret Drug-Target Interactions for Better Characterization


To carefully select the most promising drug candidates during the early discovery phase, biophysical screening methods are utilized to better understand the interaction between the small molecule drugs and RNA target. Due to the small molecular weight change which occurs when a small molecule binds to RNA it is difficult to identify which are the most robust and sensitive biophysical screens and in what combination these should be used to gain the most accurate results.

Therefore, this workshop will address:

  • Identifying the best combination of biophysical screens for accurate target identification
  • Delving into the screening methods which can be used for understanding which small molecules bind to RNA and have therapeutic potential
  • How to reduce the need to invest heavily in different biophysical screening methods?
  • Are there any new methodologies which have been developed which are more robust and reproducible?

12.00 pm Lunch & Networking Break

1.00 pm – 4.00 pm Workshop B

Strategies to Identify Disease Relevant Long Non-Coding RNA Targets & Discover Small Molecules to Modulate their Function


Current efforts to modulate disease on an RNA-level with small molecules focus mainly on splice modulation. This might be partly due to the more challenging nature of other RNA species, such as long non-coding RNAs. However, given the important function of long non-coding RNAs in a plethora of disease, targeting long non-coding RNAs might be the next frontier in small moleucles targeting RNA.

This workshop will address current challenges faced in identifying suitable long non-coding RNAs as drug targets and the discovery of small molecules to modulate their function:

  • How to identify the key regions on long non-coding RNAs which are involved in the desired functional response?
  • How can CRISPR screening methods be incorporated to identify functional long non-coding RNA?
  • How to assess undesired on-target effects due to the target long non-coding RNA being involved in several pathways
  • How to tackle issues due to the low abundance of long non-coding RNA in assays development?

4.00 pm End Pre-Conference Workshop Day