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The following resources are available to members of the Saint Louis University Institute for Drug and Biotherapeutic Innovation and other members of the campus community.

These resources include information on the IDBI Seed Grant, the ADME/PK Service, assays available within member labs, Computational Chemistry (CDD Vault, Schrödinger Suite, Computational Workstation), and access to the IDBI Shared Drive. Some resources are also available to external academic and non-academic users. 

IDBI Innovation Seed Grant

The goal of the IDBI Innovation Seed Grant is to provide funds to promote small projects likely to result in expansion of IDBI collaborations and acquisition of external funding. These funds are intended to support specific experiments focused tightly towards improving funding chances of an external drug/biotherapeutic discovery-, development- or delivery-related grant application(s) intended to be submitted within 12 months from seed grant submission.

Eligibility:
Any IDBI senior member employed by SLU. Non-SLU employees may be co-investigators but not PIs on an IDBI seed grant. One application per PI is permitted per review cycle, and IDBI members can be PI on only one funded application at a time. Members may be a co-investigator on more than one application per cycle, and they can serve as co-investigators on more than one funded seed grant at a time.

Funding limits and term:
Award amounts are flexible but should not exceed $10,000 except in rare and very well-justified cases; most awards will be for less than this amount. Funds may be spent on supplies, professional services, equipment, technician salaries, and student stipends or hourly pay. They may not be used to support travel or faculty salary. Funds must be used within nine months of the award (12 months for projects requiring new animal or human subjects approvals). Only very well justified extensions will be granted.

Submission deadlines:
The last day of January, April, July and October annually.

IDBI Seed Grant documents:

IDBI Seed Grant RFA (June 2022)
IDBI Seed Grant Review Policy (March 2021)
IDBI Seed Grant Application Form (Aug 2021)

ADME/PK Service

The IDBI ADME/PK Laboratory Service provides expertise and key assays to help researchers determine how a drug is absorbed (A), distributed to tissues (D), metabolized (M), and excreted (E). These pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters must be investigated during the course of drug development.

The ADME/PK laboratory is directed by Dr. Fran Sverdrup, associate professor, biochemistry and molecular biology. Assays and bioanalytical analyses are performed by laboratory scientists, and LC/MS services provided by Senior Analytical Chemist Dr. Abdul Mottaleb.

The ADME/PK Laboratory provides expert pharmacology-related consultations and wet bench support. The laboratory can also provide connections to external service providers who have signed MSA’s with Saint Louis University to expedite contract agreements on assays unavailable within the lab. IDBI members can access the listing of MSAs here. Consultation with ADME/PK Staff is encouraged to select appropriate assays and determine whether experiments should be performed internally or by an outside provider.

Wet Bench Support Includes:

In Vitro ADME Assays:

  • Plasma Protein Binding – Measures the extent to which a drug in plasma is free (unbound) and available to interact with its target and metabolizing enzymes
  • Microsomal Stability – Measures intrinsic (Phase 1; P450) metabolism in purified liver or intestinal microsomes (available in mouse, rat, human, etc)
  • Hepatocyte Stability – Measures combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 metabolism (available in mouse, rat, human, etc)
  • PAMPA – Measures passive diffusion through artificial membranes. Configurable to mimic membrane composition for various cells and tissues
  • CACO2 Permeability – Measures permeability across an intestinal cell layer to predict the efficiency of oral absorption and the potential for efflux
  • MDR (PGP) Transport – Measures potential for drug efflux via the Major Drug Transporter

In Vivo Mouse PK Studies

  • Can assess standard PK parameters (e.g., half-life) by any of multiple administration pathways

PK & PK/PD Modeling

  • Modeling of the effects of different dose levels and of repeated doses at various intervals on target activity and therapeutic efficacy

Assays within the lab are low cost for IDBI members (grant effort or fee-based).

Parties interested in working with the IDBI ADME/PK Core Lab should contact Fran Sverdrup, Director IDBI Discovery Services Core, fran.sverdrup@health.slu.edu.

LC/MS Service Policy and Rates

Most ADME/PK assays and mouse PK studies utilize tandem liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) for quantitation of compound concentrations in experimental samples. The ADME/PK Service lab has developed standardized rates for this bioanalytical analysis.

LC/MS Service is available to both internal and external users, including industry. LC/MS service can be supported by fee-for-service or grant effort. Contact Fran Sverdrup, Director IDBI Discovery Services Core, to discuss utilizing the LC/MS service, , fran.sverdrup@health.slu.edu.

1.0 Rules: Prior to initiating projects, users are required to discuss with Core staff the design of experiments and expected outcomes to allow Core staff to provide an estimate of project costs.

1.1 Service Access: Service is available to all researchers within SLU. External non-profit institutions and external for-profit entities may also be approved to use Core services. For external users, a business contract will need to be initiated and sent for review by OVPR Staff and SLU OGC.

1.2 Equipment Access: Access to core equipment is not available on a stand-alone basis. Exceptions to this may be made at the sole discretion of the Core Director in consultation with Core Staff. Exceptions to this rule may only be granted to IDBI members.

2.0 Priority: Initiation of projects will be prioritized as follows:

  1. Grant-funded projects with effort support assigned to core personnel.
  2. Projects initiated by IDBI PIs as part of a successful IDBI Seed Grant award.
  3. Projects initiated by IDBI PIs
  4. Projects initiated by non-IDBI SLU PIs and other academics
  5. For-profit entities

Given constraints on Core staff time, it is possible that not all projects will be taken on. Core staff will work with project PIs to initiate and complete projects in timely manner.

3.0 LC/MS Rates: LC/MS Service Rates and Fees have been designed to ensure the continued operability of the core service, while providing significant value to IDBI members, SLU investigators, and other Core users. Rates have been determined by direct material and labor costs for sample and processing. SLU provides significant subsidized direct and indirect support for the operation of the ADME/PK facility for SLU users, as such, outside user rates include administrative, equipment, and facility charges necessary to provide this service to non-SLU researchers.

Prior to initiating projects, users are required to meet with Core staff to discuss the scope and design of the project to ensure estimated costs are accurate. Funding by grant-derived effort will be calculated independently. The core director, core staff, IDBI Leadership, and IDBI directors are not responsible for over or under estimation of actual costs incurred, and these costs will be billed for recovery.

  IDBI Member SLU Investigator Not-For Profit Researcher For-Profit Researcher
Per Sample Rate* $11 $11 $15 $33
Additional Processing per sample (e..g tissue homogenization) $5
(min $100)
$5
(min $100)
$7
(min $100)
$10
(min $100)
Additional Labor & Analysis per hour (bioanalytical) $51 $51 $65 $140
Additional Labor & Analysis per hour (assays, animal) $58 $58 $74 $140
Consultation / Management (with Core Director) Free 1 hour free $135/hour $250/hour
Minimum Total Charge $600 $600 $765 $1800

* Per Sample rate includes Standard processing (organic extraction), and Documentation.
* Per Sample rate is for samples ready for organic extraction, additional sample processing.
** Research Rate is applied to methods development for unknown or novel compounds; Raw Data Analysis; Interpretation and Reporting.
*** Core Director Support for Data Review, meeting or communication will incur additional charges
# Non-Academic contracts will include a minimum 1 hour management charge

4.0 Other Assay Rates: Rates for other in vitro and in vivo assays have not been standardized. Variations in experiment design, length, materials, and core involvement necessitate that these projects be cost estimated independently. Larger research projects incorporating LC/MS services will not be subject to the minimum LC/MS charges stated in section 3.0.

Computational Chemistry

CDD Vault

The IDBI provides access to CDD Vault as a service to its members. CDD Vault is an industry-leading database for securely organizing, sharing and archiving data related to compound collections and the chemical and biological assays used to describe them. The major physical compound libraries at SLU are already pre-loaded into CDD Vault (these are custom libraries maintained by Marv Meyers, John Walker and John Tavis, plus the various commercial screening libraries SLU owns). CDD Vault provides a centralized location to house data on your compounds and the data gathered on them by your entire team. The platform also promotes security and confidentiality, only designated team members will have access to view, edit, import or export data within your projects.

For more information on CDD Vault, contact Marvin Meyers (marvin.j.meyers@slu.edu).

Schrödinger Molecular Modeling Suite

IDBI facilitates the bundling of licensure for the Schrödinger Modeling Suite for small molecule and biologics discovery, securing the software at a discount for members and providing a license for infrequent users of these tools.

IDBI has licensed components of Schrödinger allowing for complete small molecule drug discovery, as well as for modeling and design of biologics. The software modules provide comprehensive solutions to molecular modeling and small molecule drug discovery/design, macromolecule structure analysis and prediction, molecular dynamics simulation, and protein-protein/protein-biomolecule docking. Users can take a known (or predicted) protein structure, predict compound (chemical or biological) binding sites and poses, virtually screen compounds, and perform iterative design optimization of target molecules. Users can also take static drug/protein interactions a step further with molecular dynamic simulations.

The software can be run on any computer (except for computationally heavy processes). IDBI runs the Schrödinger suite on a high-performance computational workstation housed in Monsanto Hall to support computationally intensive processes. Both physical and remote access to the high-performance workstation is possible.

For more information on access and use, contact Marvin Meyers (marvin.j.meyers@slu.edu).

Member Laboratory Assays

Numerous assays developed within individual IDBI member laboratories are available for collaborative studies. The listing of these assays is intended as a resource for IDBI members and SLU researchers to identify local resources for expertise and collaboration. IDBI members may also be willing to make these assays available to non-SLU Investigators and institutions. Inquiries can be made to drugdiscovery@slu.edu.

Assay Listing for External Users
Assay Listing for University Users With Contact Information

IDBI Shared Drive

The IDBI maintains for its members a shared drive to distribute relevant partnering and funding opportunities, lists of vendors (including those with NDAs and/or MSAs with the University that may be valuable to drug discovery and development research), as well as internal archives of documents.

Visit the IDBI Shared Drive

Access to this drive is designated for IDBI members only. You will need to sign in using your University account. You may also need to be added as a user to the shared drive. If you are an IDBI member and do not have access, contact Jaffre Athman at jaffre.athman@slu.edu to be added to the user list. If you are not an IDBI member and would like to become an IDBI member and gain access to the shared drive, contact John Tavis at john.tavis@health.slu.edu.

IDBI Newsletter

The IDBI distributes a biweekly newsletter (every other Friday), the IDBI Elixir, with curated news from IDBI members, announcements from the IDBI and the University, webinars, seminars, and educational opportunities related to drug and biotherapeutic discovery and development, and federal, foundation, and corporate grant and research partnering opportunities.

Content for the Elixir can be sent to Jaffre Athman (jaffre.athman@slu.edu).

Sign Up to Receive the IDBI Elixir