The 1st International Conference on Drug Design and Discovery
(ICDDD) was held from Feb. 4 -7, 2008 at Dubai, UAE. ICDDD
2008 was the first major international conference and exhibition
of the series, which aimed to present cutting edge advances
in various disciplines of drug design and discovery. Over
600 leading industrial and academic experts from 58 countries
around the globe presented their findings in the form of Plenary
Lectures, Invited Lectures, Session Lectures and Posters at
this four-day conference. The ICDDD 2008 offered an in-depth
assessment of the challenges involved in the dynamic and fast
moving field of drug discovery and development bringing together
leading chemists, pharmacologists, biotechnologists, and other
allied professionals to discuss and present the latest important
developments in the field.
Under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak
Al Nahayan, the event was co-organized by Eureka Science and
Higher College of Technology with the venue being the Dubai
International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE.
Dubai, the host city, is the region's business and tourism
centre which is connected to all international markets. The
city is also famous as the regional trading hub and gateway
to the rest of the Middle East. The visitors coming to Dubai
could enjoy a whole range of different experiences which included
elements of adventure, contrast, discovery and surprise. Dubai
World Trade Center, the venue of the conference, offered a
comprehensive range of facilities catering to all types of
meetings and major international conventions.
The Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Organizing Committee of
ICDDD were Prof. Richard R. Ernst (Nobel Laureate) and Prof.
Atta-ur-Rahman, FRS, respectively.
The Organizing Secretaries of various sections of the conference,
prominent scientists in their respective fields, were: Magid
Abou-Gharbia (Wyeth Research, Collegeville, PA, USA), Charles
Cantor (SEQUENOM, Inc., CA, USA), Erik De Clercq (Rega Institute
for Medical Research, Belgium), Ben M. Dunn (University of
Florida, FL, USA), Stephen T. Furlong (Discovery Medicine,
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, DE, USA), Kenji Izuhara (Saga
Medical School, Japan), Levon M. Khachigian (University of
New South Wales, Sydney, Australia), Chandra Prakash (Pfizer
Global Research and Development, CT, USA), Peter E. Nielsen
(The Panum Institute, Denmark), Allen B. Reitz (Johnson &
Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, PA, USA),
Patrice Talaga (Global Chemistry R&D, UCB S.A., Belgium),
Istvan Toth (University of Queensland, Australia) and Michael
J. Waring (The University of Cambridge, England).
The major topics of discussion related to drug design and
discovery at the conference included: Cancer; Cardiovascular
Diseases; CNS; Pharmacogenomics; Protein & Peptides; Inflammation
& Allergy; Drug Delivery & Safety; Drug Discovery
Informatics; Drug Metabolism; Medicinal and Combinatorial
Chemistry; Nanotechnology; Emerging Biomarkers & Drug
Targets; Case Studies of Successful Drug Discovery and Development.
Meet the Nobel Laureates
One of the salient and unique features of the event was “Meet
the Nobel Laureates” session, which was hosted
by Higher College of Technology (HCT). HCT had made magnificent
arrangements, proper to the occasion. Held on Feb. 3, 2008
in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the event witnessed the presence of 11
Nobel Laureates. The participating Nobel Laureates were Prof.
J. Robin Warren, Prof. Dr. Robert Huber, Prof. Dr. Klaus von
Klitzing, Prof. Yuan T. Lee, Prof. Richard R. Ernst, Prof.
M. Veltman, Prof. Sir Harry Kroto, Prof. Jim Cronin, Prof.
Johann Deisenhofer, Prof. Kurt Wuthrich and Prof. J. Robert
Wide Range of Participation
The conference witnessed global participation
from academia and industry. Country-wise participation breakdown
is as follows:
The impressive inaugural ceremony of the event
commenced on Feb. 4, 2008. His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak
Al Nahayan, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Dubai
was the Chief Guest, who welcomed and appreciated the combined
efforts of Eureka Science and Higher College of Technology
for organizing such an event of multidimensional importance.
Amongst others who addressed the ceremony were: Dr. Richard
R. Ernst, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of ICDDD, Prof.
Atta-ur-Rahman, FRS, Co-Chairman and Dr. Matthew
Honan, Director of Eureka Science Ltd.
During Feb. 4 and Feb. 7, 2008, speaker sessions
were held in four halls of International Convention and Exhibition
Centre of Dubai World Trade Center. All the sessions were
well attended and appreciated by the participants. Poster
presentation was also conducted simultaneously with the lecture
sessions, where the presenters displayed their posters, which
were visited by a number of delegates.
Apart from lecture series and poster presentation,
there was exhibition as well, where different companies had
displayed their publications and other material. The participating
exhibitors were: New Chemistry Horizons Laboratories Ltd.,
Dubai Pharmacy College & Dubai Medical College for Girls,
DUBIOTECH - Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park, Bentham
Science Publishers Ltd., Nowicky Pharma, FQS Poland, Chembridge
Corporation, Emirates Airlines, WYETH, Phoenix Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., Prous Science, a Thomson Scientific Business, Higher
Colleges of Technology, RAK Medical & Health Sciences
University and Iris Biotech GmbH.
The event was sponsored by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Bentham
Science Publishers, Science Magazine, GVK Biosciences, COMSTECH,
AK Medical and Health Sciences University, The Dubai Biotechnology
and Research Park (DuBiotech), Dubai Medical College for Girls,
Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., and The Swiss National Science Foundation
ICDDD has been a great success both in its conduct and impact.
Being the first ever held conference of this caliber in the
region, ICDDD has proved to be a good beginning, which will
have far reaching impact on Drug Design and Discovery. At
the same time it has been a great success with its smooth
conduct, wide range of subjects covered, participation of
large number of delegates, fruitful deliberations and immense
response of the participants towards discovering Drug Design
and Dubai together.
The Success of the 1st ICDDD is in keeping with
the vision and mission of the organizers, who had envisioned
of it as being a good beginning as the first mega event in
the region on the subject of Drug Design and Discovery. As
the Chairman, Dr. Ernst in his welcome note said;
“The conference will host leading scientists and Nobel
laureates from academia and industry worldwide, to discuss
the latest developments in drug design and discovery. The
conference aims to provide many interesting perspectives on
how the science and technology of drug discovery is changing
and will continue to change in the modern era.”
The conference came up as the living example of this message
and it has set up stage for success of conferences coming
up in the series.