As part of our SLAS Europe 2022 coverage, we speak to Dr. Javier Terriente, Co-founder and Chief of Drug Development at ZeClinics, about how zebrafish could be the future for discovering new therapeutics.
Please could you introduce yourself and tell us about your role at ZeClinics?
My name is Javier Terriente, and I have a PhD in molecular biology. I spent 15 years in academia, and in 2013 we founded ZeClinics. I am the co-founder of ZeClinics, but I have also been leading the scientific side of the company. I was the scientific director until a couple of years ago, and today I am the chief of drug development.
Essentially, my role now within the company is to lead our internal drug development programs, and I also help with the implementation of new technologies like artificial intelligence and so on. In a way, I would say that I am the chief innovative officer in the company.
ZeClinics is a contract research organization (CRO) specializing in zebrafish research. Why was ZeClinics founded, and what are some of its core missions and values?
First and foremost, ZeClinics was founded on the basis of our expertise, which we felt could bring something new to the industry. As an academic, I had a lot of experience working with zebrafish. I was very much focused on basic research problems, but we understood from early on that the zebrafish could bring a lot of biological and experimental advantages to the industry that may be useful for drug discovery, target discovery, and understanding the safety of new compounds and more. So, we thought, ‘Why not?’. Why not create a company that can bring that expertise to the industry? Our company started small and has grown to 40 people – and we hope to grow more in the future.
In terms of core missions and values, I would say that our main mission is excellence and quality. We think – and hope – that we are always providing the best scientific output with the best quality, in terms of data management, in terms of scientific quality, and in terms of translatability of the results to humans.
I would say this excellence is what really drives us. The second mission that we have is to accelerate research. Within everything that we do, we seek to get drugs to patients earlier and at the lowest possible cost.Continue reading… “Combining AI and Zebrafish to Accelerate Drug Discovery”